€7.8 million will be invested in high performance athletes and sports in 2011, the crucial preparatory and qualification 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.
The Irish Sports Council announced a major funding package for 2011 with a total €25.6 million which will be invested into 57 National Governing Bodies of Sport, including 18 high performance sports, and 32 Local Sports Partnerships.
Mr. Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, announced the funding for the National Governing Bodies of Sport will be €12.1 million and for the Local Sports Partnerships will be €5.7 million. Mr. Mulvey commented; “Investing over €25million 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 on-going Government investment is helping deliver a huge variety of sports around the country. “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.”
€5.8 million is being allocated to 18 high performance sports for the implementation of their Performance Plans. These plans provide a complete programme of support to elite athletes who also benefit directly under the International Carding Scheme. 115 individual athletes and 2 teams benefit under “Carding” this year. Eamonn Coghlan, who chairs the Council’s High Performance Committee commented; “We were determined to maintain high performance funding levels in this critical year. Irish athletes won 30 medals in international championships competition in 2010, an incredible performance that demonstrates the effectiveness of the long term investment strategy of the Council”.
In addition to the activities supported by today’s announcement, the Council will be active in developing the sports sector with national agencies such as Coaching Ireland, the GAA, FAI, IRFU , Olympic Council of Ireland , Paralympics Ireland and Age & Opportunity. Specific funding relevant programmes will be announced later in the year.
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