IRISH SPORT COUNCIL Irish Sports Council Announce Core NGB Grants

19 Jan 2005

€6.29 million for 53 sports confirmed, high performance funding to be announced after Athens Review

Minister O'Donoghue: "Strong governing bodies are essential to the development of a vibrant, sustainable sports sector. I endorse the Council's policy of developing sport through strong governing bodies. Unprecedented investment of €131 million will be invested in sport by the government in 2005 which will benefit all sports in every community".

January 19, 2005.

The Irish Sports Council today (January 19th) announced the core grants for the National Governing Bodies (NGB) of sport in Ireland. 53 sports will receive a total of €6.29 million. The total for the core grants for 59 sports will eventually reach €6.73 million when 6 outstanding applications are finalised.

The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Mr John O'Donoghue TD made the formal announcement at a special reception in Dublin for representatives of the NGBs. The Minister reaffirmed the Governments commitment to sport and expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the organisations to Irish sporting life.

The core activities covered by the grants include administration of the sports, the employment of professional staff, coach development and planning and development activities. For certain sports it may also include hosting events and programmes aimed at increasing participation.

Since the Irish Sports Council began funding NGBs in 1999 the emphasis has been on modernising and professionalising the sports bodies. Many organisations are in the process of drafting their second strategic plans and this is testament to the increased professionalism evident in the way sporting organisations are developing in this country.

In the past sport relied almost entirely on voluntary effort. That situation has radically changed with 188 full time and 45 part time staff employed by the 59 sports eligible under the NGB grant scheme. Many organisations have full time professional Chief Executives working with coaches, development officers and administrative staff. This ensures that the organisations are run in a professional manner, increasing the capacity to deliver their strategies while still benefiting from the voluntary effort of members.

The Athletics Association of Ireland is currently undergoing a Change Process. When that process is complete it is anticipated that a new Chief Executive will be appointed and that its funding allocation for 2005 will be reviewed at that time.

John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, hosted a reception for the NGBs at which Minister O'Donoghue made the formal grant announcements. Mr Treacy said "The governing bodies are at the heart of Irish sport which is why they are the focus of so much of our work and investment. We enjoy an excellent working relationship with all the sports bodies. The consistent financial and other supports we offer the NGBs is reaping rewards for the organisations and is delivering benefits to the wider sports community".

A significant development in 2005 is the identification of 16 "Focus Sports" for high performance. They have been identified as having the potential to deliver success at elite international level. They will have a separate investment based on High Performance Plans. These grants will be announced in the near future, following the publication of the Athens Review and their absence for the announcement accounts for the apparent drop in the headline grant figure.

The Irish Sports Council budget in 2005 will be €34.4 million, up from €13.4 million on 2000, its first full year of operation. Major grant schemes to be announced later in the year include the comprehensive range of high performance grants and the participation supports to the GAA, FAI and IRFU. Taking this into account in 2005 in excess of 55% of the Council's entire budget will be invested in sport through the NGBs.

For further information contact
Paul McDermott Irish Sports Council
01-8608802 087- 6486295

Michael O'Keeffe Bill O'Herlihy Communications
01-6602744 087-8854072

The Focus Sports are

Athletics Ireland
Badminton Union of Ireland
Cycling Ireland
Equestrian Federation of Ireland
Golfing Union of Ireland
Irish Amateur Boxing Association
Irish Amateur Rowing Union
Irish Amateur Fencing Federation
Irish Canoe Union
Irish Clay Pigeon Association
Irish Hockey Association
Irish Ladies Golfing Union
Irish Sailing Association
Irish Taekwondo Union
Swim Ireland
Tennis Ireland

Swim Ireland

Swim Ireland has been awarded €375,750 which will allow the organisation build on the progress made by Swim Ireland as a result of the appointment of their new CEO in 2004. This award will support the appointments of a Director of Education, and two administrative assistants.

Tennis Ireland

Tennis Ireland have been awarded €387,665 of which €28,000 is earmarked for the Club Development Programme, matching the NGB's own contribution. €23,000 of the total will be targeted at wheelchair and mini tennis.

The Irish Sailing Association

The Irish Sailing Association has been awarded €248,956 of which €175,656 will fund the administration of the organisation.

The Irish Hockey Association

The Irish Hockey Association, allocated €169,135 for core activities in 2005, is implementing an ambitious strategy, driven by a newly appointed new CEO.  

Irish Amateur Rowing Union

A new CEO has been appointed to the Irish Amateur Rowing Union and this has been supported by their grant of €139,150. This is independent of the International Training and Competition funding which will be announced at a later date.

The Badminton Union of Ireland

The Badminton Union of Ireland have received an allocation of €272,628 of which €21,900 will fund youth and club programmes and €2,500 towards a disability initiative.

The Irish Wheelchair Association

The grant for the Irish Wheelchair Association - Sport increased from €242,850 to €299,509. This increase in funding is to support programmes such as "Leisure Links" and "Water Works" and also the new appointment of a Technical & Education Officer.

The Irish Deaf Sports Association

The Irish Deaf Sports Association received €50,000 in support of the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia, in January 2005. The IDSA received €25,000 at the end of 2004 to confirm the NGBs attendance at this event. 

The Volleyball Association of Ireland

The grant for the Volleyball Association of Ireland increased from €146,995 to €164,325. The increase in funding is allocated in support of the J4 Initiative, which is targeted at primary and post-primary schools.

Motorsport Ireland

Motorsport Ireland received €137,999 of which €50,000 is designated for the Young Drivers Scheme. €20,000 was also awarded in support of the stranding scheme for drivers who excel at their sport at international level but are ineligible for the Young Drivers Scheme.

The National Community Games

The National Community Games was awarded €239,000 to further its work with young people throughout the communities of Ireland and to deliver on its key strategic goals of Leadership, Activities, Recruitment and Training and Marketing Initiatives. The National Community Games will be reviewing its organisational strategy in 2005.

The Irish Olympic Handball Association

The Irish Olympic Handball Association received €36,191. €9,970 of this funding is allocated to hosting the EHF Men's Challenge Trophy in October 2005.

Republic of Ireland Snooker and Billiards Association

Building on the success of the hosting of the World Under 21 Championships in Carlow, the Republic of Ireland Snooker and Billiards Association has received €56,975 to support the employment of a full time Youth & Membership Development Officer, which reflects one of the strategic priorities of the organisation.

Special Olympics Ireland

Special Olympics Ireland have been awarded €499,257 to continue the work of the Special Olympics with €200,000 of this designated to support the Go! Campaign in 2005. This campaign will aim to increase awareness of the benefits of sports participation by the public at large while also raising funds to bring 4,000 new athletes into Special Olympics Ireland over 2 years.

The Irish Cricket Union

The Irish Cricket Union has been awarded €151,229 for 2005. Ireland will host the International Cricket Council Trophy in July 2005. The Council has committed to support the ICU in its preparations for the hosting of this prestigious world class event.
The implementation of the pre-tournament preparation is designed to ensure that the Irish team is as well prepared as possible for their quest to qualify for the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Senior Womens World Cup Qualification

Following Ireland's qualification, the ICU is sending the women's national team to the Women's World Cup in South Africa in March 2005. In preparation for this, the Council is supporting a pre-tournament training camp.

The Irish Amateur Wrestling Association

The Irish Amateur Wrestling Association, allocated €15,100 in 2005, have enjoyed success in coaching children in disadvantaged areas under their coaching programme.

BoI Chumann na hEireann

Bol Chumann na hEireann received €12,500. €7,500 of this funding is in support of the World Road Bowling Championships which will be hosted in conjunction with the 2005 Year of Culture in Cork.