Irish Sports Council Publishes Beijing Review

The Beijing Review, published February 9, 2009, by the Irish Sports Council states that the significant improvements in performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games represent a tangible return on the increased State investment in high performance sport over recent years.

The recommendations of the Review include reducing the number of focus sports receiving investment in elite sport. The success of boxing and Paralympics demonstrates that top quality support systems can be created in Ireland and investment should be directed at those sports that can replicate their consistent and repeatable success.

The Review, while calling for continued state investment in sport, asserts that finance is no longer a barrier to Irish success at international level.

In October 2008, the Irish Sports Council established a Steering Group to direct its quadrennial high performance review, known as the Beijing Review. This group was chaired by Judge Rory MacCabe, S.C., and comprised Mr Pat O'Neill and Mr Gary Owens. It was assisted by an independent consultant, Dr Neil Tunnicliffe of Wharton Consulting.

Rory MacCabe commented at the launch in Dublin; "Our aim was to analyse the preparation and performances of 2008 with a view to making recommendations for the future. Previous Reviews have served Irish sport well, mapping out a successful route to better structures and ultimately improved performances. My hope is that our objective analysis will lead to further improvements in the Irish sports system".

John Treacy, CEO, Irish Sports Council, commented; "Irish performances at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games exceeded the targets set in the Athens Review and highlight the clear improvements being made by Irish sports people across many different disciplines at international level. Irish elite sport has demonstrated its ability to provide a return on the substantial investment of the Irish tax payer".

In the course of the Review Dr Tunnicliff interviews representatives of all Olympic and Paralympic sports, relevant agencies (except the OCI which declined an invitation to participate) and received responses to a questionnaire from 28 (of 55) Olympic athletes and 72 of 79 Paralympic athletes

Further information:
Paul McDermott Irish Sports Council 
Declan Lee OHC 01-6602744

To view the Beijing Review - click here
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