THE IRISH SPORTS Council today announced a €25.6million funding package for 2011.
The bundle includes awards for 57 national governing bodies, 32 local sports partnerships and 18 high performance sports.
Some €7.8m will be invested in high performance athletes and sports in the crucial period in advance of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This includes €1.95 million under the international carding scheme, direct grants to 115 of Ireland’s top athletes including Katie Taylor, Kenneth Egan, Derval O’Rourke, Jason Smyth and Grainne Murphy.
Kieran Mulvey, Irish Sports Council chairman said the funding for the ‘National Governing Bodies of Sport’ will be €12.1m and for the Local Sports Partnerships will be €5.7 m.
“Investing over €25m in the range of sports this year is a vote of confidence in the Irish sports sector. The Council believes that sport plays a central role in the social and cultural life of Ireland and will play a significant part in the economic recovery.’
The Minister for Sport, Mary Hanafin said the funding of sports is a priority. “‘Everyone benefits from participation in sport and the funding being allocated today helps clubs and organisations throughout the country to deliver key services to increase participation and support sportsmen and women.
The economic, social and health value of sport is well established and is something that must continue to be recognised, even in difficult economic circumstances.
‘These 89 sports organisations are doing tremendous work nurturing a love of sport in young people and helping increase participation at every level while all the time supporting employment in the sports sector,” she added.
As well as today’s annoucement, specific funding packages for the likes of the GAA, FAI and IRFU will be announced later in the year.
Chief executive of the Irish Sports Council, John Treacy added in a statements: “The Council’s research demonstrates that the sports sector generates a significant return to the exchequer investment by generating economic, social and health benefits.
“The governing bodies and sports partnerships are the main delivery agencies for sport and they will continue their excellent work in 2011,” he added.