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Irish Sailing Becomes Third Best Funded Olympic Sport

11th February 2015
Irish Sailing Becomes Third Best Funded Olympic Sport

#sailing – Irish Sailing is going to benefit from just under €1m in government funding in 2015, similar to 2014, but where sailing has made big gains is in the High Performance area. €250,000 for equipment for Rio, and €70,000 for Rio preparation were among the bonuses announced by the Minister today.

Sailing was in the top 10 of Irish sports in general funding, third in the High Performance funding, second in the Rio preparation funding and first in the HP equipment funding.

Total funds to sailing in 2015 from government sources is scheduled to be €1,289,900

By way of contrast, UK amounts are reported to be €33m over the four year Olympiad, while US has about €14m in the same time and Canada will benefit from about €700,000 in 2015.

However, it should be noted that Ireland is only supporting five of the 10 Olympic sailing disciplines, while UK and USA have full teams. And with a smaller pool, it could be argued that the Irish sailors are close to being among the best funded in the world right now. But such a suggestion would be 'completely misleading' as the Irish Sailing's High Performance manager James O'Callaghan points out; 'the programme funds cover 103 sailors involved from Optimist all the way up to the Olympics, not just the Olympic team itself'. 'At each stage of the pathway we have squads and coaches in place to help the sailors progress'.

O'Callaghan continues: 'We are very grateful for the ISC support but we still require additional sources of revenue to ensure our sailors have the best chance of success'. 

Amount per discipline per year

UK €825,000 (10 disciplines)
US €350,000 (10 disciplines)
Ireland €257,800 (5 disciplines)
Canada €140,000 (5 disciplines)

There was huge success for Irish Sailing when Minister of State for Sport, Michael Ring T.D., today announced an investment package of €19.6m from the Irish Sports Council into the National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland.

The good news for sailing follows a similar announcement by the ISA this week that it intends to raise a further €2.75m itself to further fund the Irish Olympic sailing team.  

Overall, The government is spending almost €1million more on sport than the equivalent figure for 2014. This will allow the Council invest in crucial projects for Rio 2016, exciting participation initiatives with a variety of sports and support the participation of Team Ireland at the Special Olympic Summer Games in LA in July.

The investment includes an allocation of €10.85 million to 59 National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to support their core work of administration and participation programmes. This includes increases to support specific initiatives in the IABA, the Confederation of Irish Golf and Hockey Ireland. The Council will allocate €600,000 to support the Women in Sport programme of 23 NGBs with additional support for the highly successful programmes of Swim Ireland and Badminton Ireland.
€8.16m will be invested in 22 Performance Plans which will support Ireland participation at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. The high performance NGBs also benefit from the direct service provision at the Institute of Sport, the development of high performance facilities at the National Sports Campus, the 2015 International Carding Scheme and the special sports equipment grants; a comprehensive and integrated package of support for Ireland's top performers.
Speaking at today's announcement Minister Ring commented: "I am delighted to be here today to announce a very significant package of sports investment by the Irish Sports Council. Today's investment is a substantial commitment from the Irish Government to the National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland. The importance of sport cannot be understated. Sport has the unique ability to activate local communities through participation and volunteerism whilst uniting a nation to support our athletes on the world stage".

Today's investment is designed to support NGBs develop sustainable and effective structures that facilitate increased numbers of both participants and volunteers. The success of the sustained investment has seen considerable growth in membership across the NGB sector which includes 53,000 in Athletics Ireland, 23,000 in Cycling Ireland and 57,000 in Badminton Ireland.
Speaking at the announcement, Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council said:
"The Council place National Governing Bodies at the centre of our work and are the strategic heart of Irish sport. This is a major input of resources into their operations and ongoing development and we have confidence that there will be a significant return on that investment. I want to acknowledge and recognise the on-going support given to us by Minister Ring and his Department which allows us to continue our mission of increasing participation and enhancing high performance."
2015 is the 10th Anniversary of the Irish Sports Council's Women in Sport programme. The programme, which aims to raise the overall physical activity levels among women, has been a key driver in closing the gender gap as women's participation has grown from 39% (2011) to 42.7% (2013). Today's investment will continue to support Women in Sport programmes including 'The Swim for a Mile' initiative from Swim Ireland which aims to deliver 10,000 participants and Rowing Ireland's, 'Get Going, Get Rowing' programme which aims to get an additional 5,000 women participating in 2015.
Ireland will be proudly represented at many sporting events on the international stage. 2015 will be the crucial qualifying year for many sports for Rio 2016 and there will be vital championships events in athletics, swimming, boxing, hockey, cricket and cycling amongst others. The first European Games will take place in Baku in June and it will be could prove to be a pivotal event for the Olympic sports in Ireland. The Council is delighted to support Team Ireland at the Special Olympics World Game in Los Angeles.
John Treacy, CEO Irish Sports Council said:
"As the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games come into view, it is imperative we maintain investment so that we continue to build on the excellent performances of recent years in high performance sport. The resources made available in late 2014 by Minister Ring are invaluable for the sports and have been invested in vital equipment, camps and the all-important competition schedules".
Today's investment in High Performance will continue to build on the sustained success of high performance sport in Ireland. The Institute of Sport delivers sports services directly to the Olympic and Paralympic sports and, with athletes accessing services on site, is advanced in the creation of a new support system for high performance sport. The capacity at the Institute will be enhanced with the completion of the bespoke facility which is currently being constructed by the NSCDA on site and which in due for autumn 2015.

High Performance Sport: 2013 (€) - 2014 (€) - *2015 (€) - Rio
Olympic Council of Ireland: 396,776 - 378,987 - 450,382 - 1,226,145
Paralympics Ireland: 310,000 - 310,000 - 513,154 - 1,133,154
Athletics Ireland: 800,000 - 800,000 - 880,000 - 2,480,000
Badminton Ireland: 95,000 - 95,000 - 130,000 - 320,000
Irish Amatuer Boxing Association: 829,000 - 839,300 - 925,000 - 2,593,300
Canoeing Ireland: 50,000 - 65,000 - 65,000 - 180,000
Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association: 4,350 - 32,500 - 55,000 - 91,850
Cricket Ireland: 109,504 - 100,000 - 120,000 - 329,504
Cycling Ireland: 265,000 - 303,000 - 350,000 - 918,000
Golf (GUI and ILGU): 375,000 - 375,000 - 390,000 - 1,140,000
Gymnastics Ireland: 47,500 - 60,000 - 107,500
Irish Hockey Association: 400,000 - 420,000 - 450,000 - 1,270,000
Horse Sport Ireland: 525,000 - 510,000 - 550,000 - 1,585,000
Irish Judo Association: 30,000 - 40,000 - 50,000 - 120,000
Paralympic Sports: 613,000 - 610,000 - 665,000 - 1,888,000
Pentathlon Ireland: 190,000 - 170,000 - 180,000 - 540,000
Rowing Ireland: 380,000 - 380,000 - 410,000 - 1,170,000
Irish Rugby Football Union: 275,000 - 275,000 - 275,000 - 825,000
Irish Sailing Association: 643,000 - 632,000 - 635,000 - 1,910,000
Swim Ireland: 524,000 - 530,500 - 560,000 - 1,614,500
Tennis Ireland: 160,000 - 160,000 - 175,000 - 495,000
Triathlon Ireland: 260,000 - 260,000 - 275,000 - 795,000
Total: 7,234,630 - 7,333,787 - 8,163,536 - 22,731,953

The details of the €1.6 million investment in the 2015 International Carding Scheme will be announced at a later date. The transition of the Scheme to athletics, sailing swimming has proven to be successful and four more sports (rowing, triathlon, cycling and badminton) are currently in the transition phase.

General Investment
1. The Irish Sports Council received an Oireachtas Grant of €42.5m in 2015. As announced in Budget 2015, this is the same budget as in 2014.
2. In December 2014, a special allocation of current funds to support qualification, preparation and participation at the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games was provided to 18 sporting bodies. This money was provided in 2014 for expenditure on 2015 plans; it is recorded in these documents under the 2015 headings.
3. In November 2014, a special allocation of capital funds for sports equipment was provided to 15 NGBs. While the scheme was not targeted at high performance many NGBs used the funds to support their Performance Plans for 2015. For example, Sailing and Rowing were able to purchase boats and other equipment to support the preparation and participation at the Rio Games.

Core Investment
4. Special Olympics Ireland has received additional investment to support participation and preparation for the World Summer Games 2015. This follows the special allocation of funds in 2014 for the European Games. In total, an additional €250,000 has been allocated to support Special Olympic participation and preparation ay major games over a two year period.
5. Additional investment has been provided to the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, in both core and high performance, to strengthen the capacity of organisation with new appointments.
6. The Confederation of Golf in Ireland has received additional investment to support the increased responsibilities of the organisation and continue the development of Golf in Ireland.
7. In late 2014 Cycling Ireland received an investment of €50,000 to support the capacity of the organisation to support mass participation events. This is recorded in their core budget of 2014.
8. Also in 2014 Table Tennis Ireland received €15,000 to support a schools initiative and this is recorded under the 2014 core budget.
9. Hockey Ireland and the Irish Sailing Association have received additional seed investment to support the development fund on raising capacity on a pilot basis.
Women in Sport Investment
10. The Women in Sport programme for 2015 will total €600,000.
11. Substantial increases have been provided to Badminton Ireland and Swim Ireland to support an expansion of their successful programmes from 2014 including 'Swim a Mile', "Women on Court", "Women @ Heart" and "Girls on Court".
High Performance Investment
12. The Olympic Council of Ireland is entering into one of the most important and busiest years in its history. It has received additional investment to support its wide range of activities including the preparation and participation for the Rio 2016 Games, Youth Olympics and 1st European Olympics in Baku.
13. Paralympics Ireland has received significant additional investment to support the holding of training camps in 2015. The investment will allow Paralympics Ireland replicate the preparation system used in advance of London 2012 which proved to be so successful.
14. Increases in High Performance grants have been allocated to Athletics Ireland, Cycling Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland to continue the successful performance programmes in the lead up to Rio.
15. The Sports Equipment grants allowed Sailing and Rowing purchase boats and essential equipment for the Rio 2016 campaign.
16. Gymnastics Ireland and the Irish Clay Pigeon Shooting Association received High Performance Investment in 2014 and 2015. This was on the basis of an improved level of planning by the NGB and of performances by the athletes.

Published in Olympic Team

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