The Federation of Irish Sport is delighted to welcome Budget 2021’s significant increase in funding for the sport and physical activity sector. The Federation is pleased to see government’s strong recognition of the value of the sport sector and it’s need for continued support and development in line with the National Sports Policy. Today’s announcement not only meets the government’s own commitment to incrementally double funding for the sector by 2027 but is also recognition of the significant challenges facing the sector in light of COVID-19 and the cessation of activity during 2020.
Budget 2021 was a significant milestone on the road to funding and resourcing the sector to achieve the targets set out in the National Sports Policy. In what has been an extraordinarily challenging year for the sector, it is heartening to see the government in the third year of the National Sport Policy build on the previous two years of established funding and extend that support to include recognition of immediate challenges facing the sector. Federation member organisations are committed to the growth and development of sport and physical activity for all and the return on this investment will be evident for all to see.
Speaking about the announcement, Federation CEO Mary O’Connor said, ‘Today has been a watershed moment for sport and physical activity. While government support through the pandemic has been appreciated by members it was also undeniably necessary. We have been calling for the continuation of existing funding commitments for the sector at a time when investment in sport and physical activity is ever more important. Today’s announcement shows government’s strong support of the sector as well as their commitment to deliver on targets set prior to the current crisis. This is a true show of support for the work our member organisations do and the positive impact they can have through the pandemic and beyond. We are pleased to see that the commitment to double funding in line with action 45 of the National Sports Policy has been met and superseded again for 2021. We would like to thank the government for their continued engagement with the Federation and our members on the pertinent issues facing sport and their endorsement today of the important and valuable role sport and physical activity play in Irish society.’
After an advocacy-driven campaign on behalf of its members, which included a comprehensive pre-budget submission, meetings with government officials and an appearance at the Joint Committee for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, the Federation of Irish Sport now awaits the publication of a detailed breakdown of allocated funding and looks forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the continued delivery of sport and physical activity opportunities for all.
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