The Federation of Irish Sport is delighted to welcome the publication of Ireland’s first National Sports Policy which sets out the Government’s roadmap for the development of Irish sport over the next ten years from 2018 to 2027. We are pleased that the Policy enshrines the key role that our members, the National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships, will play in the delivery of the aims and objectives set out in the Policy.

We are also pleased that the Government has recognised in the Policy the significant contribution sport makes to Ireland. The Policy outlines the importance of sport not just for the enjoyment received by those who play for fun, or the pride generated from Irish athletes who perform on the world stage, but as a cornerstone of future public health, community development, the contribution to the economy as well as education and lifelong learning.

The Federation of Irish Sport commends the ambition detailed in the Policy to elevate Irish Sport the top table globally, in terms of both participation and high performance and the commitment to pursue this objective relentlessly.  We particularly welcome the Government’s stated intention to provide the necessary funding to deliver on the objectives set out in the Policy. This includes the stated intention to double funding to €220 million over the life of the Policy as well as introduce multi-annual funding for both participation and high performance.

The Federation acknowledges the extent of the task ahead with 57 different actions identified in the Policy across 8 different action areas including participation, facilities, high performance, capacity building, the National Sports Campus, the interaction of sport with other government and international organisations, integrity of sport and the financing of Irish Sport.

In this regard, the commitment to on-going measurement and evaluation for all investment in sport  as outlined in the Policy is also to be welcomed. In particular, the Federation is pleased with the establishment of a Sports Leadership Group charged with developing an action plan for the implementation of the Policy as well as on-going monitoring and review.

The Federation looks forward to representing our members on the Sports Leadership Group and look forward to working with the Government, Sport Ireland and others involved in Irish Sport to deliver on the actions enshrined in the Policy. The publication of the National Sport Policy is an important first step in ensuring that the true potential of sport is maximised for Ireland.