Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jack Chambers TD, together with Sport Ireland, have announced almost €80 million for the sport sector under two separate support programmes.
Some €73.6m in Covid funding is being allocated under five separate streams to help sports organisations to recover and grow post-pandemic, support the grassroots network of clubs and local sports partnerships, and ensure people of all ages and abilities return to sport and physical activity.
A further €5.3m is being provided to sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for the provision of sports equipment including the rollout of defibrillators for clubs, kits for school children and state-of-the-art equipment for high-performance athletes.
The announcement follows a commitment from both Ministers of a €65 million Covid-19 investment programme. Additional investment has been provided through the 2021 Sport Ireland budget providing total Covid support of €73.617 million to the sector. The timing of the schemes provides stability and certainty to the sports sector as it emerges from the pandemic and plans for 2022.
Under the schemes, Clare LSP has been allocated a total of €110,844 under the headings of: Covid-19 Grant Schemes and Capital Grants.
Speaking about the allocation, Coordinator of Clare Sports Partnership, John Sweeney, said: “This funding has come at a crucial time for a return to sport in the county. Like the rest of the world, sport in Clare has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. Late 2020 and throughout 2021, we have already been able to financially support sports clubs who are affiliated to an NGB, by allocating just short of €110,000. Through today’s announcement, we will be able to support community organisations that provide sport and physical activity opportunities.
These organisations will include community centres with help to keep the lights on into the new year. We will also be able to support a programme supporting refereeing in the county. This will include an education piece for the general public as to the importance of the voluntary and valuable role that the referees have in ensuring that games can be played in a fair manner. Finally, we have been awarded some capital funding for the purchase of equipment that will enhance physical activity levels for children with disabilities who utilise the Clare Crusaders Clinic and for the improvement of the physical literacy skills for children in primary education through a partnership with Clare GAA.”
Tim Forde, Chairperson of Clare Sports Partnership, welcomed the announcement today, commenting: “This funding is once again an acclamation of the valuable work that the team at the Clare LSP have been mandated to do. I would like to congratulate John and his team for this and to commend the work that they do. It also serves to assure our partners, including Sport Ireland, the HSE and Clare County Council, of Clare LSP’s ability to deliver quality supports and programmes even in these difficult times.”
John Sweeney added: “In conjunction with the announcement today, in the past few days we have also been awarded an additional €125,000 for the employment of a regional Communications Officer for Munster and Connacht. As an LSP, we were appointed by our colleagues to host this position, as we have the capacity and structure to do so. Full details of this position will be advertised in early 2022.”
Full details of the allocation of the funding streams will be available on www.claresports.ie over the coming weeks.