Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan Brendan Smith has welcomed additional current funding of up to €65 million that will be available to support the sports sector this year.
Allied to the additional current expenditure of €26.3 million already provided to Sport Ireland, a total of €91.3 million will have been allocated in additional current funding to support the sports sector in 2021.
This package is intended to support National Governing Bodies of Sport and sports clubs arising from the significant impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the sports sector, by providing specific funding support for the following sectors;
· Field Sport funding to support the main field sports, i.e. the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU;
· A Resilience Fund to support the other National Governing Bodies of Sport;
· A Sports Club Resilience Fund to support clubs from all sports;
· A Swimming Pools/Facilities Fund;
· A Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity Fund.
The above schemes will be run by Sport Ireland and the funding will be distributed through the National Governing Bodies of Sport.
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I am very pleased that the Government is able to continue to support our sporting bodies. Last year, our Covid-19 support funding helped ensure that our sporting bodies were in a position to maintain operations, avoid insolvency and prepare for a return to activity. The funding also provided support with Covid-19 related costs and losses in 166 Rugby clubs, over 400 grassroots and League of Ireland Clubs along with 33,271 Gaelic Games teams. In addition, support was provided to 1,637 clubs throughout the country through small grants operated by Local Sports Partnerships.”
The Cavan and Monaghan TD added: “We have seen the positive impact that the return of sporting fixtures has had across the country these past few months. However, there is a lot more work to be done. Many organisations and clubs have lost huge amounts of revenue, as their activities have been severely curtailed. The indoor sports sector has been particularly badly hit, with indoor sports only set to resume their activities this month. I hope that this funding will go a long way to assisting our sporting organisations and clubs and enable them to recover fully as we emerge from this pandemic.”
Deputy Smith concluded: “Great credit is due to all the volunteers in all our clubs throughout the country who do so much to enable participation in sports and the holding of competitions.”