HP Investment

Athletes at the Centre of High Performance Supports Announced by Sport Ireland

05 May 2022
David Gash
International, National
  • Comprehensive Review of Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games Published
  • €14.2 million in High Performance Funding Announced
  • Multi-annual funding to support athletes up to Paris 2024

Sport Ireland has today announced a funding package of €14.2 million, which firmly places the athlete at the centre of Ireland’s high performance system. This is accompanied by the publication of the Tokyo 2020 Review.

In a significant development for the High Performance Sport system in Ireland, for the first time Sport Ireland is in a position to announce a multi-annual high performance programme funding commitment up to the end of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic cycle in 2024. This will see an additional €19.8 million invested in National Governing Body (NGB) high performance programmes across 2023 and 2024. This is on top of the €9.9 million high performance programme funding committed in 2022.

Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers TD welcomed today’s announcement: “Sport Ireland has demonstrated strong leadership in the area of high performance sport, with today’s investment being underpinned by a strong focus on strategic development. Our athletes provide us as a nation with so many memorable moments, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that they are provided with the best opportunity they can to succeed. Through this funding, the implementation of the recommendations of the Tokyo Games Review, the services of the Sport Ireland Institute and the facilities of the Sport Ireland Campus, Ireland is well placed heading into Paris 2024.”

Chairman of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey added: “This is a significant day for Sport Ireland and for the wider high performance system. We thank our colleagues in Government for their support in securing this multi-annual commitment, which will ensure that our NGBs and ultimately athletes are given certainty and security as they prepare towards Paris 2024. Sport Ireland’s High Performance Strategy highlights this as a fundamental step if Ireland’s performances on the international stage are to continue to develop. The Board of Sport Ireland also endorses the recommendations of the Tokyo Games Review, and looks forward to seeing the tangible impact of this valuable process in the months and years ahead.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland Dr Una May commented: “Sport Ireland’s High Performance Strategy sets the bar high for our aims as a nation in international competition. In order for these objectives to be achieved, adequate resources, structures and process are required. Through the delivery of a multi-year funding package, Sport Ireland is putting the athlete front and centre so they can focus fully on their training and preparation. Augmented by robust system changes recommended in the Tokyo Games Review, Sport Ireland is confident that the right framework is now in place for Ireland to deliver at Paris 2024 and beyond.”


High Performance Funding

The Sport Ireland High Performance Strategy 2021-2032 sets out the long-term vision for the high performance system. The funding allocated in 2022 reflects these objectives and is an important step-change in how Sport Ireland supports high performance sport.

Director of National Governing Bodies and High Performance with Sport Ireland Paul McDermott commented: “The move to multi-annual funding will ensure High Performance Programmes can plan throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Cycle with a degree of stability and certainty. Sport Ireland plans to invest over €40m in total in High Performance Programme Funding throughout the Paris Cycle (2021-2024). This is an increase from €31m in the Tokyo Cycle (2017-2020).

“Through the International Carding Scheme, €3,080,500 will be invested in 2022, which will support 112 athletes and 10 relays or squads across 16 sports. This is an increase of €332,500 from 2021. Sport Ireland announced last year that the award levels for the International Carding Scheme in 2022 have increased.  International Level has increased from €12,000 to €18,000; and World Class Level has increased from €20,000 to €25,000. The new supports for athlete transition into retirement have been warmly welcomed by athlete community. The investment by Sport Ireland to high performance sport in 2022 is substantial, and is a demonstration that the commitments to high performance sport identified in the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 are being delivered.”

High performance programme funding to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association is not yet confirmed and will be determined at the conclusion of an ongoing review and ongoing and satisfactory evidence of compliance with Sport Ireland’s Governance Code for Sport.

Tokyo Review

Sport Ireland has also published its review of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games. The Tokyo Games Review provides an independent, objective analysis of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for Team Ireland.

There are three distinct project areas within the Tokyo Games Review, with each being completed by a separate independent consultant:

  1. Project Lead – Leading Sport
  2. Tokyo Olympic Games Review – Portas Consulting
  3. Tokyo Paralympic Games Review – Grey Matters Performance

Eighteen NGBs were involved in the Tokyo Olympic Games Review and seven NGBs involved in the Tokyo Paralympic Games Review.

Mr McDermott continued: “The Tokyo Games review was an immersive process, with 426 survey responses received, and 133 interviews conducted. At this stage all of the relevant NGBs have received individual reports, which outline key learnings and recommendations for future Olympic and/or Paralympic Cycles. These recommendations are being actively working on the implementation of recommendations. The Tokyo Games Review has been approved by both the Sport Ireland Board and High Performance Committee, and contains system wide recommendations, as well as all the individual NGB reports. The review highlights that this was a very positive Games experience for Team Ireland members.

“Strong leadership across the system and improved relationships between key stakeholders was identified as a strength in the preparation of the Games, while coaching has been identified as an area for continued improvements, along with the frequency of reviews and debriefs within the respective sports. Sport Ireland will work with each of the NGBs on implementing the recommendations as we turn our focus to the Paris 2024.”

The 2022 Investment Announcement can be viewed here.

The Tokyo Games Review is available here.