Minister Joe O’Brien welcomes major €52m funding boost for Sports sector
20th December, 2022
Significant funding boost includes additional funding for pop up pools following success in Donabate
Minister Joe O’Brien has welcomed the announcement by his Green Party Colleague, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, of almost €52 million in funding for the sport sector under a number of separate support programmes.
As part of Budget 2023, a funding package of €35m was made available to help alleviate the impact of increased energy costs for sports clubs and organisations with a view to ensuring that everyone can continue to enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity over the winter months. The Sports Energy Support Scheme (SESS) was launched by Sport Ireland on the 15th of November and to date €21m has been allocated to support sporting organisations with the rising energy costs associated with the provision of sport. The remaining funding will be allocated by Sport Ireland early in the New Year.
Some €15m in COVID funding is being allocated to help sports organisations to continue their recovery and growth post pandemic, thereby ensuring that people of all ages and abilities are afforded the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity and enjoy all of the associated health and wellbeing benefits.
A further €0.8m is being provided to National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of Sport for the purchase of sports equipment primarily designed to assist in the delivery of Sport Ireland’s High Performance Strategy. An allocation has also been provided to Swim Ireland for the purchase of an additional “pop-up” pools on foot of the success of the first such pool funded in 2021.
In addition, additional funding of €1m is being provided to Sport Ireland to support a number of specific key projects which will further enhance Ireland’s sporting. The funding will also support a number on initiative aimed at improving the profile and visibility of female athletes across all sports, with specific support for women in football and women in rugby programmes.
Welcoming the funding Joe said:
“Sport plays a vital role in all our communities, including those in Fingal. The past year has been very challenging for the sports sector and has shown us yet again the importance of sport and physical activity in our lives and the vital contribution it makes to our physical and mental wellbeing. This funding is vital to allow sporting bodies and organisations to continue to contribute to our communities in a very meaningful way.”
“I am particularly pleased to see additional funding allocated to Swim Ireland to help facilitate more ‘pop up pools’. The trial in Donabate with a pop up pool over the summer was hugely successful and I look forward to seeing more rolled out in Fingal in the summer of 2023.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, said:
“The funding allocations being announced today are evidence of the critical role which sport plays across our society. In recognition of this role, it is vital that the sports sector is on a firm financial footing thereby ensuring the long-term viability of our sports organisations and clubs, allowing them to continue the great work they do at all levels throughout the country. I am pleased that we will also be able to support a number of key sporting events in 2023, which will add further to Ireland’s reputation as a host venue for such events.
“Today’s funding allocations which will greatly assist the sport sector as it continues its vital work in supporting all members of society in getting and staying active and reaping all of the associated health benefits. Thankfully, the health restrictions associated with the pandemic are no longer a feature of our daily lives but I and my Government colleagues appreciate the challenges that the sector has had to overcome and I am very pleased that we are able to continue to support our National Governing Bodies, our Local Sports Partnership and our sports clubs as we all adapt to life post pandemic. The specific investment to support sporting organisations with the rising energy costs associated with the provision of sport will help ensure that everyone can continue to enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity over the winter months.”