Sport Ireland’s 2023 in Review

16 Feb 2024
Stephen Walsh

Sport Ireland’s 2023 in Review

From crucial policy releases and funding announcements to hosting innovative conferences and international events 2023 was a year of standout developments and significant progress for all of Sport Ireland’s units.

Underpinning the entire operation are Organisational Development and Change, Communications, HR, IT, and the Finance department. Also providing vital support functions are the Governance and Strategy team, who in November delivered the Annual Governance Conference with panel discussions focused on placing sustainability at the heart of governance.

As the statutory authority which oversees and funds the development of sport and physical activity, Sport Ireland’s highlights across its various units over the past 12 months include …


Sport Ireland Campus

  • The Campus hosted four international eventsThe Men’s EuroHockey Championship II was won by Ireland, securing them a spot in the Olympic qualifier event. The National Aquatic Centre hosted 38 countries and over 500 athletes in the inaugural Under-23 European Swimming Championships. There were over 3,000 in attendance at the National Indoor Training Centre for World karate’s international K 1-Premier League penultimate contest. While the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup 2023 event attracted up to 5,000 spectators.
  • Campus development: Completed the redevelopment of the Long Barn which will accommodate offices for the Olympic Federation of Ireland with a separate dedicated athlete lounge. 
  • Campus development completed the design stage for a velodrome track which will also be a state-of-the-art venue for training and competitions. The project is ready to be issued to tender subject to government approval. 


Sport Ireland Participation

  • Local Sports Partnerships: The release of the Annual Report 2022 revealed 433,554 people participated in 1,434 locally delivered participation initiatives.
  • Outdoors: The first project of its kind in Ireland, in October Sport Ireland launched Get Ireland Active, to capture all sports facilities and places for people to be active in one free, convenient, and comprehensive website. While Her Outdoors took place in August, with over 8,000 females participating in outdoor activities all across Ireland over the week.
  • Women in Sport: The Her Moves campaign launched in March with an exciting and vibrant event providing promotional support to NGBs and LSPs delivering teenage girls physical activity programmes. A nationwide tour with pop-up events followed later in the year. 
  • Women in Sport: Another successful Women in Sport week was delivered, while a new Policy on Women in Sport was launched, and over 1000 people attended a Women’s World Cup Watch Party.


National Governing Bodies

  • Throughout 2023 the NGB Unit distributed in excess of €40 million across nine investment programmes such as Core, Women in Sport, Dormant Accounts and Healthy Ireland. 
  • Two additional phases of Energy Funding valuing €8m were provided, supporting local sport clubs, community-led sports facilities, national facilities and major stadiums, to mitigate the impact of increased energy costs. 


High Performance

  • 99 medals were achieved at major international competitions across senior and non-senior events while over €24m was invested in high performance sport in 2023. This was a record level of investment in the Irish high-performance system.
  • Sport Ireland appointed Ciaran Ward as Head of High Performance Coaching. Through this appointment, Sport Ireland has sought to drive improvements in high performance coaching. A total of €923,500 was invested in this area in 2023.
  • Sport Ireland introduced the Athlete Support Package (ASP) for targeted para-athletes seeking to qualify for the 2024 Paralympic Games. As well as making adjustments to the International Carding Scheme to provide equal funding at the maximum award levels to both a para-athlete and their pilot or guide.

Sport Ireland Institute

  • 4,219 direct service days were provided to High Performance Sports by the team of expert sport scientists and medical professionals of the Sport Ireland Institute in 2023, particularly supporting athletes seeking qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic & Paralympic Games. 
  • 431 athletes attended the High-Performance Centre and/or received performance support services from the Institute team in 2023. A further 31 international athletes from outside of Ireland trained at the High-Performance Centre with Irish athletes. 
  • Extensive support provided to Team Ireland at the EOC European Games in Krakow, Poland, as the Official Performance Support Delivery Partner to the Olympic Federation of Ireland.
  • Successfully delivered the HPX 2023 Paris Ready Conference to the professional workforce of the High Performance NGBs. While supporting the establishment of the Irish Sport and Exercise Sciences Association.


Sport Ireland Anti-Doping and Ethics

  • The Ethics unit partnered with representatives from the Irish sports sector, including referees and officials, to develop a template for a code of conduct for sport in Ireland.
  • Sport Ireland published the 2022 Anti-Doping report, with no anti-doping violations reported in 2022 following the highest ever number of tests completed since the establishment of the programme in 1999.


Research and Innovation


Sport Ireland Coaching

  • Over 21,000 coaches were certified under the Coaching Development Programme for Ireland (CDPI) across 33 sports. 31 Coach Developers certified by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) with the new Level 7 Certificate in Sports Coach Development award. 
  • Sport Ireland Coaching delivered a keynote address at the International Physical Literacy Conference in New York
Coaching Graduation