The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D., and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers T.D., announced today that additional current funding of up to €65 million will be available to support the sport sector this year. Allied to the additional current expenditure of €26.3 million already provided to Sport Ireland, a total of €91.3 million will have been allocated in additional current funding to support the sport sector in 2021.
This package is intended to support National Governing Bodies of Sport and sports clubs arising from the significant impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the sports sector, by providing specific funding support for the following sectors;
· Field Sport funding to support the main field sports, i.e. the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU;
· A Resilience Fund to support the other National Governing Bodies of Sport;
· A Sports Club Resilience Fund to support clubs from all sports;
· A Swimming Pools/Facilities Fund;
· A Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity Fund.
The above schemes will be run by Sport Ireland and the funding will be distributed through the National Governing Bodies of Sport.
Minister Martin said:
“The sport sector has been, and continues to be, severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout this period, we have been continuously engaging with the sector, and we know that sporting bodies and clubs have been severely hit in every aspect of their operations, not least financially. This further allocation of €65 million will allow Sport Ireland, through a number of different schemes, to assist those sporting bodies and clubs which are in greatest need, as we strive to ensure that our sporting sector is supported at every level across the country.”
Minister Chambers said:
“I am very pleased that we are able to continue to support our sporting bodies. Last year, our Covid-19 support funding helped ensure that our sporting bodies were in a position to maintain operations, avoid insolvency and prepare for a return to activity. The funding also provided support with Covid-19 related costs and losses in 166 Rugby clubs, over 400 grassroots and League of Ireland Clubs along with 33,271 Gaelic Games teams. In addition, support was provided to 1,637 clubs throughout the country through small grants operated by Local Sports Partnerships.
We have seen the positive impact that the return of sporting fixtures has had across the country these past few months. However, there is a lot more work to be done. Many organisations and clubs have lost huge amounts of revenue, as their activities have been severely curtailed. The indoor sports sector has been particularly badly hit, with indoor sports only set to resume their activities this month. I hope that this funding will go a long way to assisting our sporting organisations and clubs and enable them to recover fully as we emerge from this pandemic.”