Sport Ireland invites applications for share of €70 million funding under Covid-19 Grant Schemes

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Sport Ireland invites applications for share of €70 million funding under Covid-19 Grant Schemes

Sport Ireland has opened the application process for €70 million of funding for National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and sports clubs in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The purpose of the funding, which was announced in June, is to protect the national sports system in Ireland and to invest in sports and programmes that will play a major part in the long-term public health response to the Covid-19 crisis.

This investment programme will be allocated through four targeted grant schemes:

  • The FAI, the GAA and the IRFU to receive up to €40 million.
  • The National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships & Other Funded Bodies to receive up to €10 million
  • A Sports Club Resilience Fund, delivered through National Governing Bodies, of up to €15 million to support clubs
  • A Sports Restart and Renewal Fund of up to €5 million

Commenting on the opening of the application process, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD, said: “I welcome the opening of the application process for the vital €70 million of supports, which will bring much needed stability to the sport sector. 

“The important role of sport and physical activity in our social and economic recovery is reflected in the funding available. I wish to acknowledge the role of Sport Ireland and the officials in my department for their work in putting together a rigorous and robust grant process. I look forward to the announcement of the funding allocations in due course.”

Funding guidelines have been disseminated to all Sport Ireland funded organisations. The closing date for applications from Sport Ireland funded organisations will be Monday 14th of September. It is anticipated that an announcement of funding allocations will be made in October 2020, dependent on the level of applications received.

“Just a matter of weeks ago, playing pitches and sports halls all over the country lay idle as necessary restrictions mandated that sporting activity as we knew it came to a standstill. Since the onset of the restrictions, it was a key priority of Sport Ireland to work with our colleagues in the Government to create a safe pathway for sport and physical activity to resume and provide the necessary financial support for this to happen,” commented Sport Ireland Chairman, Kieran Mulvey.

“Thankfully, in recent weeks, we have seen a return to the playing pitches and sports halls – a welcome sight in country where sport is a key part of our social fabric. Through the significant funding available to support funded bodies and clubs, National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and clubs can put in place necessary measures to ensure sport remains a central part of Irish society.”

Sports Club Resilience Fund

A Resilience Fund of up to €15 million will be made available to support Sports Clubs that find themselves in need of assistance to avoid closing. This funding will be delivered through Sport Ireland recognised National Governing Bodies for Sport.

The grant scheme is designed to support sporting activity only. These funds are not aimed to replace lost income from ancillary activities such as hospitality, sub-letting facilities or other non-sporting commercial activity.

National Governing Bodies can elect to apply for funding on behalf of individual clubs. Alternatively, they can provide an estimated level of support required for their club network and run a Covid-19 Club Support Grant Scheme directly. National Governing Bodies will communicate directly with clubs in relation to this funding.

Restart & Renewal Fund

A Sports Restart and Renewal Fund of up to €5 million will be made available to the sport sector and support the following areas.

Small Grants Scheme

Through this scheme Local Sports Partnerships are encouraged to operate a local scheme for small clubs and community groups similar to the national club scheme. These schemes can in turn support community groups & clubs who may not be affiliated to a national organisation or recognised Governing Body but provide a vital local service. These grants would cover costs associated with COVID-19 and reopening. 

Disability Sector

Sport Ireland recognises the disproportionate impact of COVID 19 on people with a disability. It will ring-fence a proportion of the investment so that it is targeted directly at the disability sport sector. A specific Disability Sport Working Group will be established to identify the needs of the sector.

Sports Innovation Fund

Both NGBs & LSPs are invited to apply for funding under this scheme. This fund aims specifically to promote and develop new programmes that can advance sport and physical activity in the post COVID-19 public health era. Collaboration between sports organisations is encouraged; reference to the National Sports Policy is essential.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said: “Sport Ireland is delighted to be in a position to accept applications for the Covid-19 Grant Schemes from funded bodies. In consultation with our colleagues in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Sport Ireland has put together a comprehensive funding process, which will ensure that those organisations and clubs most in need will be provided with the necessary resources to ensure their ongoing viability. While it is acknowledged that certain sports facilities may fall outside the scope of these funding schemes, it was welcome to see support for rateable sports facilities announced as part of the Government’s stimulus package last week. We look forward to working closely with our National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships in putting the sport sector back on an even footing.”