The funding announced, which represents a significant increase on 2018, includes an investment of €12.845 million in the core activity of National Governing Bodies for Sport (NGBs), €8.46m in NGB High Performance Programmes, €820,000 in high performance funding for the Olympic Federation of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland, and €7.29 million in the work of the Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs).
Sport Ireland also announced €500,000 in targeted funding for projects, to assist with the preparation for key events in 2019, along with a further €1.93 million for the International Carding Scheme.
Speaking ahead of the announcement at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena today, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, said:“The National Sports Policy 2018-2027 published by my Department last July puts a strong emphasis on increasing participation in sport and physical activity by all members of society, regardless of age or circumstance. The significant increase in funding announced today will assist the excellent work of our National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships in delivering programmes and initiatives on the ground to get more people active on a regular basis. Their work is making a substantial contribution to the health and welfare of individuals, communities and the nation.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, added:“The funding announced today will assist in furthering Ireland’s ambitions at the highest level on the international stage as we head into a critical period for high performance sport. 2018 was an exceptional year for Irish teams and athletes and we look forward to that success continuing into 2019 with Olympic and Paralympic qualification on the horizon for many athletes. In particular, the move to a two-year model for the International Carding scheme is to be welcomed as we look to give our top athletes the best possible opportunity to realise their potential on the international stage.”
2018 marked an exceptional year for Irish sport at an international level, with Irish athletes and teams winning 77 medals at major competition throughout the year. At home, National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships saw sustained participation and engagement with programmes, with many new innovative initiatives rolled-out nationwide.
Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, commented:“2018 was a landmark year for Irish sport. At a strategic level, the publication of the new National Sports Policy was a key milestone for the sports sector. On the international stage we saw sustained success from our high performance teams and athletes, while the NGBs and LSPs are continuing to support strong participation in sport among people of all ages. Through a substantial budget increase for 2019, the Government has responded very positively to the case made by Sport Ireland and the Irish sporting community with a broad commitment to sport and physical activity. It is vital that our NGBs and LSPs are well supported and the increase in funding this year means that our funded bodies will be well equipped to deliver on their objectives as we look towards next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and increasing participation in sport across the board.”
The International Carding Scheme has increased from €1.9 million in 2018 to €1.934 million in 2019. For 2019 and 2020 the International Carding Scheme will be awarded as a two year Scheme. This means that athletes who are awarded Carding in 2019 will be funded until December 2020, subject to terms and conditions.
Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, added:“Sport Ireland is delighted to be in a position to provide the majority of performing National Governing Bodies for Sport and Local Sports Partnerships with an increase in investment in 2019. A significant development this year is the move to a two-year model for the International Athlete Carding Scheme. This new approach will remove pressures associated with carding criteria and allow athletes to fully focus on Tokyo 2020 qualification and performance. High Performance Programme funding provided to NGBs in 2019 will stand for the funding round in 2020. This commitment from Sport Ireland is provided to well-governed NGBs that are tracking to deliver their targets in Tokyo 2020.”
Mr Treacy continued: “At a local level, the increased investment in the Sports Inclusion Disability Programme means that all 29 Local Sports Partnerships will have a Sports Inclusion Disability Officer (SIDO) in 2019. The SIDOs will provide valuable support and facilitate an increase in opportunities for people to participate in sport and physical activity. We look forward to another positive year for Irish sport in 2019.”