Sport Ireland today announced an investment of €40 million to National Governing Bodies for Sport (NGBs), High Performance athlete support and to the network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for 2021.
Today’s announcement follows a year in which the sector has been significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions in place since March 2020. The funding of €13.8 million for NGBs is maintained from 2020. This funding, in addition to the recently allocated Covid-19 Grant Scheme, will provide stability and certainty to organisations throughout 2021. In line with previous years, a portion of the Core funding budget (‘Special Projects & Programmes’) will be ring fenced to assist with strategically important NGB related events and projects.
High Performance Programme funding will also be maintained for 2021 at €8,500,000. 2021 is anticipated to be an expensive year for high performance programmes as there remains a high level of uncertainty around competition and training camp plans due to Covid-19. Sport Ireland will provide further support in 2021 to address the immediate and confirmed costs to high performance programmes in respect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The investment in high performance sport is bolstered by funding of €2.68 million through the International Carding Scheme. The primary purpose of this funding is to support Irish athletes in reaching finals and achieving medals at European, World, Olympic and Paralympic level. The level of funding on this scheme has increased from €2.4 million in 2020. The International Carding Scheme has been amended to account for the challenges faced by athletes and NGBs as a result of Covid-19.
Budget 2021 saw a significant increase in funding for sport and physical activity, reflecting the commitment of Government and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to support the sector in to 2021. The hard work and agility of the sports sector to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic has been acknowledged by Sport Ireland and the Government, and today’s funding announcement further strengthens the commitment to the sector.
Funding of €9.5 million has been approved for the network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships, representing an increase of 15% on 2020 funding. This increase in investment provides an opportunity for Sport Ireland to support a locally led safe return to sport and to further build the capacity of LSPs, increasing their reach and impact across Ireland.
Hockey Ireland continue to be extremely grateful for this investment and commitment to the sport, as echoed by Hockey Ireland CEO, Jerome Pels, “We are very grateful to Sport Ireland for their continued investment in, and support for, hockey. It has been a challenging year at all levels of our sport and the continued investment by Sport Ireland will help us across the organisation, as we edge towards returning to the pitch in coming weeks, and as our Men and Women prepare for their summer encounters on the international stage.”
For full details of the Sport Ireland funding announcement, click here.