GOVERNING BODIES ISC allocates €7.7m in 2006 Core Grants to NGBs

Irish Sports Council Allocates €7.7 million in 2006 Grants to Sports Bodies 

Minister O’Donoghue announces funding for 59 Governing Bodies

Minister O’Donoghue: “The level of sustained investment in the governing bodies reflects their central place in Irish sport.  In my view strong governing bodies are essential to the long-term development of Irish sport, which continues to benefit from this Government’s unprecedented levels of investment. €154 million will be invested in sport in 2006, continuing the radical transformation of the country’s sports infrastructure”.  

January 26, 2006.

The Irish Sports Council today (January 26th) announced the core grants for the National Governing Bodies (NGB) of sport in Ireland. 59 sports will receive a total of €7.7 million. This represents a 10% increase for the sports this year in 2006, with €7 million allocated to core grants in 2005. 

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 governing bodies. During his speech the Minister expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the organisations to Irish sporting life and highlighted the year-on-year increases in funding since 1999. 

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

Ossie Kilkenny, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, hosting the reception for the governing bodies, commented: “The significant levels of funding invested and the other services provided by the Council since 1999 are major factors in the evident  increase in professionalism and quality of services provided by the governing bodies of sport.”

Sport continues to rely on voluntary effort, with 400,000 adults acting as volunteers in sport each year. However, professional staff must augment that effort in the governing bodies with many organisations now having full time professional Chief Executives working with coaches, development officers and administrative staff. Currently there are 194 full time and 38 part time staff employed by the sports eligible under the this grant scheme.
 
John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council, said: “The governing bodies are delivering excellent services on behalf of Irish sport. As well as providing essential financial resources we work closely with the sports to ensure they will continue to meet the challenges set by a competitive and complex sports environment.” 

The Irish Sports Council budget in 2006 will be €40.9 million, up from €13.4 million on 2000, its first full year of operation. In addition to the €7.7 million announced today a package of high performance supports for Focus Sports and individual elite athletes will be announced in early February. Governing bodies will also benefit under the Women in Sport initiative, worth €2.5 million, to be allocated later in 2006. Today’s announcement does not include the funding to three major governing bodies (GAA, FAI and IRFU) for their participation programmes.

In 2006 around 60% of the Council’s entire budget will be invested in sport directly through the NGBs, representing a five-fold increase on investment levels in seven years.   The Council was established in 1999 and in that year grants to governing bodies totalled €4.8 million.

The Athletics Association of Ireland (AAI) has been engaged in a major change management process in recent times. In recognition of the huge progress the organisation has made and the requirements of fully implementing its strategic plan the Council had increased the AAI allocation to €750,000 for 2006 (from €485,00 in 2005).  This amount represents the largest ever allocation to the organisation from the Council under “core funding” and will allow the AAI to appoint several vital senior positions to work alongside their new CEO Brendan Hackett.

Basketball Ireland will receive €534,032 from the Council this year to support a wide range of initiatives to increase participation in the sport at grassroots level.  This follows on from Basketball Ireland’s decision to appoint Regional Development Officers to roll out programmes in schools and clubs locally.

In recognition of the fact that for the first time an Irish team have qualified for a Cricket World Cup, the Irish Sports Council is allocating an additional €66,649 to the Irish Cricket Union this year.  The total funding amount of €217,878 will allow the Irish team engage fully in their preparations ahead of the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and to support the team at next month’s U-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

The Council is supporting a number of special sports events to be hosted in Ireland in 2006. 

• The Irish Wheelchair Association-Sport will receive €14,000 towards the World Junior Wheelchair Athletics Championships in July at Santry Stadium.
• Cerebral Palsy Sport Ireland will receive funding towards the hosting of the European Cerebral Palsy Soccer Championships at ALSAA in July.
• The Irish Hockey Association will receive €10,000 toward the hosting of the U-16 Boys European Youth Championship at the National Hockey Stadium from 11 to 16 July.
• Swim Ireland will receive €10,000 towards the Water Polo European Juniors qualifying tournament in May at UL. 
• The Irish Sailing Association will host two major Championships this year and have received €45,000 from the ISC.  These events are the GP 14 World Championships in Sligo in April and the ISAF Nations Cup Match Racing taking place in Cork in September. 

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