High performance sport receives an emphasis in the draft Programme for Government published this afternoon (Monday 15 June) after the leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party reached agreement following marathon weekend talks.
Under the heading ‘High Performance’, the document (attached below) states: “Sport can engender enormous national and local pride when our teams and athletes perform well. It is integral to our culture, identity and history. Our high performance athletes inspire the next generation, reinforcing high standards and motivating children in every community.”
To that and, the Government says it will:
- Publish a High Performance strategy to define Ireland’s direction for at least 12 years, and review it every four years. The strategy will set clear and ambitious medal targets over three Olympic/Paralympic cycles.
- Facilitate efforts to explore business and philanthropic funding of high performance sport to complement State funding.
- Step up State funding to compete with other highly-successful countries of our size, and to facilitate a multi-cycle approach to high performance funding.
- Develop initiatives to increase the level of media coverage, nationally and locally, of women’s sport and attendance at women’s sport event.
While continuing initiatives such as the Sports Capital Programme, the programme also includes a plan to develop a Sports Technology Innovation fund “to encourage research and development of interventions to support participation and excellence”.
Under rural development, the document includes a promise to “support, through a consultative process, community groups, arts and cultural bodies, sports clubs, voluntary organisations and charities to recover and enhance their impact in the aftermath of Covid-19”.
Sports clubs in general will also note that the draft programme promises to tackle insurance costs by, among other measures, “considering changes to the Occupiers Liability Act and the Civil Liability Act (duty of care) to strengthen waivers and notices to increase protections for consumers, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups”.