Sport Ireland today announced an investment of nearly €32 million in National Governing Bodies for Sport, direct athlete support and the Local Sports Partnership Network for 2019.
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.
The funding announcement is a welcome boost for Hockey Ireland following an historic 2018 for Irish hockey and 2019 could well follow in a similar vain with Olympic qualification on the horizon. To support both senior teams campaigns to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Sport Ireland will lay a state of the art hockey pitch at the National Sport Campus in April. The new pitch is a welcome addition to the thriving campus and will prove invaluable for all Hockey Ireland national teams.
The first major tournament on the road to Tokyo comes in the form of the FIH Series Finals, Ireland’s men are bound for Le Touqet in France while the women will play host in Dublin. The tournament will mark the first major competition hosted at home for the Green Army since World League 2 in March 2015. It offers the perfect opportunity to see the World Cup silver medallists in action over the course of the 9-day tournament, with plenty of chances for fans to meet members of the Green Army at the dedicated Fan Village.
Both senior teams will enjoy an increased budget this year, attributed to a rise in sponsorship revenue and a notable increase in high performance funding from Sport Ireland. The additional funding has presented both teams with the much-needed opportunity to train more frequently as a team and increase their international fixtures against top opposition in preparation for major tournaments.
In August, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD announced that Hockey Ireland would receive €500,000 of €1.5 million that was being invested to assist NGB’s with Olympic and major competition preparation. Hockey Ireland continue to be extremely grateful for this investment and commitment to the sport, and the funding greatly assisted in covering the deficit that arose from two World Cup campaigns in 2018. The funding has also played a role in facilitating the establishment of a carding scheme for the senior international athletes, whereby the senior international athletes receive financial support.
Another positive step in the right direction is a targeted investment in our Junior Age Group programmes as they continue to progress on their journey to senior internationals.
2019 is off to an extremely bright start and is shaping up to be another momentous year for hockey, as echoed by Hockey Ireland CEO Jerome Pels “We are very grateful to Sport Ireland for their increased investment in hockey and their continued support. The new pitch in Abbotstown is a big step for our sport and the establishment of a purpose-built training facility for our international squads will only aid our ambitions to continually compete with the best teams in the world.”.
Head coach Alexander Cox, who has recently signed a contract with Hockey Ireland that will see him lead the Green Machine up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, said “We are of course grateful for the funding and support we receive from Sport Ireland. The new pitch at the National Sports Campus along with this increase in funding will prove a vital boost to our training and the amount of camps we can have at home, working towards Olympic Qualification”.
For full details of the Sport Ireland funding announcement, click here