The Federation of Irish Sport has asked the government to honour commitments made in the National Sports Policy 2018-2027 for funding in order “to ensure the survival of sport and physical activity in Ireland”.
The call was made in the federation’s pre-budget submission, which highlights the need for such commitments to be met following the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on Irish sports’ finances.
Business and employment supports made available by Government, coupled with the sport-specific rescue package of €70m announced in June, assisted in keeping organisations afloat this year.
However, the federation believes further investment is now needed to ensure that organisations not only survive, but to adapt and rebuild next year.
Last week the GAA, FAI and IRFU told an Oireachtas committee that they faced multi-million euro deficits and would require significant funding in the future due to a lack of crowds attending events.
The federation is also requesting that the Government invests €2.34m for communication and educational programmes on the importance of sport and the protection of those at risk from gambling in the sporting community, as well as €1.35m to help tackle obesity.
Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, said: “Earlier this year, we welcomed the introduction of the Covid-19 Resilience Fund for Sport and Physical Activity announced by Government.
“However, as the pandemic continues to permeate every element of society, it is imperative that national governing bodies, local sports partnerships and clubs all around the country continue to receive financial investment from Government.
“At a time when all other sources of revenue are under sustained pressure, Government investment in sport has never been so important. This investment is necessary to ensure the continued delivery of sports programmes nationwide and the benefits to health, wellbeing and community solidarity that this will bring.”