Sports Policy Lobying

Sports Policy Lobying

Lobbying pays off as the National Policy on Sport is published

The Government published its National Policy on Sport last week which sets a roadmap for the development of Irish sport over the next ten years. Irish Sailing, along with the Federation of Irish Sport, other National Governing Bodies and the Local Sports Partnerships have been campaigning for a National Policy for a number of years, and we are delighted that this paper has been published. The reaction from across the sporting sector, both public and private has been positive.  

The National Policy lays out three key strategic initiatives:

  1. Overall participation in sport to rise from 43 per cent to 50 per cent of the population, an equivalent of 260,000 additional people taking part in sport
  2. More targeted high-performance funding to increase the number of medals at Olympic and Paralympic Games from the 13 achieved in Rio to a target of 20 at Los Angeles in 2028
  3. All funded sports bodies to comply with the Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charity Sector

The policy document has 57 action points including:

  • Increased spending on sport from a current level of €110 million to €220 million by 2028.
  • An annual fund for capital projects (which currently represents around 40 per cent of total spending in the sector) – This allows local clubs to apply for funding to purchase boats & equipment and also to upgrade their buildings and infrastructure in order to increase participation.
  • Doubling of investment exclusively targeting Women in Sport.
  • €1 million commitment to disability sport through the funding of a Sports Inclusion Disability Officer in all Local Sports Partnerships.
  • An annual volunteer training budget to focus on issues such as child welfare, disability awareness, first aid, administration and governance.
  • Increase in funding for participation programmes with the aim to double investment in participation programmes by 2027.
  • increasing funding of high-performance sport to the level of comparative nations, with New Zealand as a standard. The Irish Federation of Sport have identified that this would effectively mean an increase to €30 million of annual funding in that area, effectively a trebling of the investment that will be available in 2018.

The next step is the formation of a Sport Leadership Group from the sector and from Government which will be set up by October, and will report to Government by July 2019. Its remit will be to develop and publish a comprehensive set of key performance indicators covering all elements of the policy.

You can read the full plan here: