‘Federation calls for a Resilience Fund for Sport and a task force to specifically focus on the survival and re-ignition of sport organisations nationwide’

Dear Member,

We hope you are keeping safe and well as we take the first steps on this road to returning to sport and physical activity.

On Monday, the Federation of Irish Sport publicly called for financial support from government in the form of a Resilience fund for the Sport and Physical Activity sector. We strongly believe that now is the time for more specific and targeted supports for the sector to ensure its long-term viability. As part of this work we have made a submission to Minister Ross, Minister Griffin and the department of Transport, Tourism, and Sport for much needed support. We have also written to all political party leaders and spokespersons for Sport.

Our key asks were:
• The introduction of a Resilience fund open to both NGBs and Sports Clubs across the country
• A dedicated taskforce that would work alongside the introduction of the Resilience fund for Sport and Physical Activity that will have a cross sector of expertise to formulate proposals and measures to reignite the sport sector as we live with Covid19

Please see the full statement here; https://www.irishsport.ie/federation-calls-for-a-resilience-fund-for-sport-and-a-task-force/

Following on from our submission we have been actively engaging with National Media to bring the reality of the impact of Covid19 on the sport sector to life, but also to emphasise just how valuable the sector is to the Irish economy and the impact COVID-19 has had on its viability. We believe that in order to ensure the sector continues to support some 39,500 jobs and a volunteer network of 500,000 people valued at €1.1bn it needs a package of support measures from government, built around the provision of a Resilience fund. We are will continue to advocate for this on your behalf.

The Federation appreciates your continued support and I would ask that you continue to promote the key aspects of our submission across your own channels via social media, member/club communications and any other opportunities you may have to add your organisation’s voice to the collective ask.

As you will now be aware, this newsletter contains up to date government information and supports as well as initiatives and information from our partners who are working to support members with solutions to COVID-19 challenges. This week we are also sharing a compilation of learning opportunities in the form of industry webinars and by spotlighting the innovative work of NGBs and LSPs pivoting their operations and initiatives during these times.

It is more important than ever that we continue to work together, support each other and the sector through the coming weeks and months. We know that for some of you this week will bring a phased return to activity and for others, that opportunity is some weeks away yet. We must keep communicating and learning from each other as we navigate these challenges to ensure sport and physical activity thrive again when the time is right.

Throughout this crisis and beyond, myself and the Federation team are on hand to assist you, our members. If any of you have specific questions, please contact us on any of the numbers below. Please also keep an eye on our COVID-19 updates page at www.irishsport.ie which will be updated regularly with any relevant information.

Mary O’Connor, CEO – 0860437884
Sinead Conroy, Business Manager – 0860437887

Finally, I would ask you to continue to adhere to government guidelines and advice in relation to tackling this pandemic. While this week brought some positive changes in the levels of restriction, we must still all follow each stage of reopening in accordance with the plan and adhere to any public health advice.

Stay safe, stay well.

Yours sincerely,

Mary O’Connor
CEO Federation of Irish Sport.

Department of the Transport, Tourism and Sport
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and the Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Brendan Griffin, TD, have announced the establishment of an Expert Group. This group will provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity in line with the Government Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society. Further information on the group can be found at https://www.irishsport.ie/ministers-ross-and-griffin-establish-return-to-sport-expert-group/

Department of An Taoiseach
The roadmap for reopening can be read at https://www.irishsport.ie/1st-may-government-announcement-covid19-restrictions/.


Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation
All information on business supports from the department can be found at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/

Clarification: At present, there is no specific support for commercial tenants other than rate relief through the local authority. IBEC and ISME are calling for supports for commercial rent relief across the business sector. The below measures may assist in bridging financial difficulties that impact on an organisation’s ability to pay rent however, should any specific measures become available in relation to rentals we will update you accordingly.

  • The Credit Guarantee Scheme supports loans up to €1 million for periods of up to 7 years.
  • Microenterprises can access COVID-19 Business Loans of up to €50,000 from Microfinance Ireland. The terms include a six months interest free and repayment free moratorium, with the loan to then be repaid over the remaining 30 months of the 36-month loan period. Loans are available at an interest rate of between 4.5% and 5.5%. Businesses can apply through their Local Enterprise Office or directly at microfinanceireland.ie.
  • The new €450m SBCI COVID-19 Working Capital Scheme for eligible businesses supports loans from €25,000 up to €1.5 million (first €500,000 unsecured) with a maximum interest rate of 4%. Applications can be made through the SBCI website at sbci.gov.ie

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).https://www.gov.ie/en/news/041fd1-update-on-payments-awarded-for-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-paymen/

Department of Finance
Minister Donohoe publishes Stability Programme Update 2020 – Published: 21 April 2020

Department of Community and Rural Affairs
If your organisation is a registered charity you may be eligible to apply for some of the new support measures announced by the Dept of Community and Rural Affairs. Further information on such supports can be found at


Sport and Physical Activity – Adapting Initiatives
During challenging times many Federation members are pivoting their work and adapting to this new normal. Here we have highlighted just a snapshot of the great work being done which will perhaps encourage and inspire us all.
Rowing Ireland successfully ran Ireland’s first virtual rowing regatta on Saturday 2nd of May. The event was sponsored by Kinetica and saw two high performance athletes break world records! Sanita Puspure and Aifric Keogh broke the half marathon world records in their categories. The event engaged Rowing Ireland members from 9 – 90 and was a great success! https://www.rowingireland.ie/world-records-broken-during-rowing-irelands-virtual-regatta/Limerick Sports Partnership have created an Active Limerick Hub with resources for all ages and activity levels. The project is supported by a number of stakeholders including Sport Ireland and the HSE. Check out the full page of activities and resources including home workouts, family fun activities and courses and online learning at https://www.limericksports.ie/index.php/covid-19

The ‘Together at Home’ programme launched by Special Olympics Ireland is a fantastic source of information and activities for members of clubs who cannot be together, to take part and stay active during COVID-19. The programme is an online initiative that delivers weekly resources in the areas of sport & fitness, health promotion, strong minds and young athletes. Tune in weekly for new updates at https://www.specialolympics.ie/sport/together-at-home-programme

Swim Ireland’s 4th #WePlay conference has taken on a different style in the face of COVID-19. Their annual conference focused on Inspiring Girls in Sport has become a podcast series! Every Wednesday and Friday a new episode of insightful, inspiring and motivated content is released on youtube and across their social media channels. The series features athlete panel discussions and educational pieces for athletes, coaches, parents and supporters of any age from all sports. There is also an opportunity for the public to get involved and ask questions of some of their favourite athletes every week. Check out more at https://www.youtube.com/user/SwimIreland1