Sport Ireland has welcomed the significant increase in funding for sport and physical activity in Budget 2021.
Recognising the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the sports sector, it has been announced that Sport Ireland is to receive an increase of €36 million, bringing the overall budget for 2021 to €104.5 million.
Sport Ireland’s allocation will include €9.7 million for the ongoing development of the Sport Ireland Campus.
In addition to the €36 million increase, it was also announced that there will be an increase in Dormant Accounts funding for sport of €2 million bringing the total allocation for 2021 up to €10 million.
Commenting on the budget announcement, Sport Ireland Chairman, Kieran Mulvey, said: “Like all areas of society, the impact of Covid-19 and associated restrictions have had a substantial impact on the sporting landscape. National Governing Bodies, clubs and groups all over Ireland have seen their activities significantly curtailed in 2020, which has in turn placed a financial burden on most, if not all. The acknowledgement of this by Government is to be welcomed by both Sport Ireland and the National Governing Bodies. The funding announced will provide a significant boost to the National Governing Body sector.
“Sport Ireland is a key delivery agent of the Government’s National Sports Policy 2018-2027. While the increase in funding continues the commitment to double funding for sport over the life-course of the policy, the additional funding will enable Sport Ireland to continue to make progress in delivering on the actions of the policy. We thank Minister Martin and Minister Chambers and their colleagues in Government, for their ongoing support for sport and physical activity.”
The funding announced by the Ministers is in addition to the €70 million in Covid-19 related funding committed to the sport sector in July 2020; the allocation of this funding will be announced in the coming weeks.
Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, added: “While Covid-19 has dominated over recent weeks and months, we are conscious that work must continue to ensure sport is in a good position when the restrictions are lifted. The certainty provided by this funding allocation will is welcomed by funded bodies and athletes alike.
"It will bring stability and continuity to high performance programmes, while providing vital supports to Irish athletes in their qualification, preparation and performance at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will hopefully proceed in 2021.
“The ongoing development of the Sport Ireland Campus is a key priority for Sport Ireland. The capital commitment of €9.7 million to Sport Ireland will ensure the ongoing development of the Sport Ireland Campus and the provision of world-class facilities for our athletes. Our Local Sports Partnerships continue to provide opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in sport.
"The increased funding, including the increase in Dormant Accounts funding, will allow us to introduce new and innovative programmes to more people in harder to reach groups than ever before. We thank Ministers Martin and Chambers and their department officials for their work in securing these much needed funds for sport in Ireland.”