The Government on Wednesday announced a new 10 year National Sports Policy worth 220 million euro. The aim and goals of the policy is to increase participation in sports as well as improved capacity and more excellence. It is the aim to increase sports participation by 50% by the year 2027 also.
The policy was launched on Wednesday by the Minister for Sport Shane Ross and the Minister with responsibilty for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin in Dublin. The funding this time around has doubled from what it was previously (112 million). Some of the key targets of the policy are outlined below:
- Overall participation in sport to rise from 43% to 50% of the population by 2027 (the equivalent of an extra 260,0000 people participating in sport)
- More targeted high performance funding to deliver more Olympic/Paralympic medals (From the securing of 13 medals in 2016 to a target of 20 in 2028)
- All funded sports bodies adopting the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charity (CVC) Sector.
The government also hope to seek additional funding for Sport Ireland programmes in the 2019 estimates to support amongst other measures these are:
- doubling of funding for the Women in Sport programme to €2m
- creation of a dedicated €1m programme for Disability Sport through the deployment of a Sport Inclusion Disability Officer in all 26 LSPs countrywide
- €1.5m allocation to high performance programmes in support of Tokyo 2020 preparations
There was positive news from several organisations. The Olympic Council of Ireland president Sarah Keane told RTE ”This is a very welcome development, one that we hope will send out a clear message about the importance of Sport in Ireland and the men and women who represent our country on a global stage.” ”We very much welcome that this Government recognises the value of Irish Olympic sport and the role it plays here and abroad as our talented athletes compete at the highest international levels. We are proud to play our part and to make a difference as part of the Government’s initiative “Global Ireland 2025″.
Adding his voice Conn McCluskey CEO of Ireland Active also welcomed the funding. He said ”We are delighted to see the launch of the National Sports Policy as we believe it has the potential to enable the sports and fitness sector to deliver a more active and healthy population”.”In particular it is welcome to see a doubling of funding being committed to during the lifetime of the policy which will provide much needed financial support for organisations and facilities in delivering the actions contained in the policy.”
This in my opinion is good news that the government do see the need of developing sports and getting people active. People need to get up and get active and play sports which is beneficial in every way. We will find out if the policy will work I would imagine over the next 2 or 3 years.