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The Federation of Irish Sport Are Calling On Government To Boost The Nation Through Additional Funding For Sport and Physical Activity in Budget 2022
The Federation of Irish Sport believe that there has never been a better opportunity to harness the power of sport for our country as we emerge from the recent period of uncertainty. It is believed that an increased investment now in people and programmes that promote participation will have a disproportionately positive impact for the country that will continue long into the future.
The Federation of Irish Sport recognise and thank the government for the support of the sector over the last 18 months of covid19 with direct funding for Sport and physical activity, but also through cross sectoral supports that our members could access.
For Budget 2022, The Federation are seeking to ensure that they give the maximum number of people the opportunity to avail of the chance to become more active right across the wide range of sporting activities that either already exist or can be easily created by the NGB’s and the LSP’s, the organisations that are responsible for organising sport in Ireland today.
Every year The Federation of Irish Sport make a Pre-Budget Submission to Government on behalf of its members and this year’s submission focuses on five key asks:
1. Sports Resilience Funding
Recognise the pivotal role played by our NGB’s and LSP’s, and the impact that Covid has had on their finances, by putting in place a further tranche of the Sports Resilience Funding in the 2022 budget to assist them in ensuring their clubs, get back to pre-Covid levels of activity in the first instance, and create the platforms needed to ensure Irish Sport meets the targets of the National Sports policy.
2. National Sports Policy Funding
Increase overall current sports funding in the 2022 Budget, in line with its policies laid out in the National Sports Policy 2018–2027. It has always been The Federation’s contention that it is essential that the government’s commitment to doubling sports funding (over the ten-year life of the NSP) should be done incrementally, year on year, every year. Never has this been more important than for 2022.
3. A Commitment To Multi-Annual Funding
Move to a multi-annual system of current funding for sport, thereby giving the NGB’s and LSP’s the opportunity to plan ahead. This is not about extra funding but rather about certainty. Already there have been moves for such certainty for High Performance Sport. The ask is that it now be extended for all sports funding.
4. Sugar Tax and Sport
Redirect €1.35m (4.5%) of the Sweetened Sugar Drinks Tax exchequer returns to fund a specific campaign to tackle the obesity problem in Ireland. The sugar sweetened tax was created to stimulate behavioural change among Irish society away from the consumption of high-sugar products. While the tax is a financial disincentive, education is key in driving any behavioural change. Investing in sport to educate and encourage such change is a key element and should be resourced to support the overall aims of the sugar tax – to improve the health of the nation.
5. Betting Tax Redistribution
- €2.34m (4.5%) of the increase of the Betting Tax to develop and implement communication and educational programmes on the importance of sport and the protection of those at risk in our sporting community. Ideally this could be used to create grassroots diversion programmes in which sporting activity would be linked to educational, training and employment opportunities e.g., after school clubs focusing on sport, personal development, and education – literacy/numeracy and IT sessions.
Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor believes these will of huge benefit not just to the sports sector but to Ireland as a whole “Sport plays such a huge role in the lives Irish people, it brings people together, builds communities and provides joy to people in even the toughest times. What many people may not realise is that there is also a significant economic benefit of sport to this country through employment, tourism, tax receipts, prevention of illness and much more. The five asks in our pre budget submission reflect the needs of the sector and we believe that the government through Budget 2022 have the opportunity to provide the sports sector with the necessary tools to continue their work and positive impact into the future”
The Federation believe that the investment sought in the five key asks will see continued growth of the already massive economic value sport provides to Ireland. Resent research by Sport Ireland in association with Sheffield Hallam University revealed that the total value of sport to the Irish economy in 2018 was €3.7bn (GVA), while €3.3bn was spent by people in Ireland on sport related goods and services. Sport also made up 3.1% of all consumer expenditure in Ireland in 2018 (up from 2% in 2008) and 64,080 people were employed in sport in Ireland, while the estimated economic value of volunteering in sport and physical activity in Ireland in 2018 was €1.5bn.
Recent research by the Federation of Irish Sport also suggests that the State may recoup up to €195 in tax revenue for every €100 invested in sport-related activity.
Irish Olympian Rhys McClenaghan believes that this additional funding could make a huge difference, particularly to his own sport of Gymnastics “I’m incredibly grateful for the support that I’ve already got but there’s a lot of work that could be done to bring even larger numbers to gymnastics in Ireland. We want to get large teams going to Olympic games, that’s such a huge goal for us to achieve and that can only be achieved through that support coming through the grassroots”