Government to double funding in €220m National Sports Policy

The Sports Minister says he aims to double the funding for the Women in Sport programme next year to €2m.

That's just one of a number of measures announced in the €220m 10-year National Sports Policy this morning.

The key targets include increasing the number of Olympic/Paralympic medals from 13 in 2016 to 20 in 2028 and ensuring that 50% of the population participate in sport over the next ten years (currently 43%).

Nine-year-old Charlie Moore was at this morning's launch after she contacted Minister Shane Ross asking him to do more to encourage girls to play sports.

She said: "I wrote to the Minister because girls were going out of sports by the age of 13.

"I wanted to change that because it was just way too soon and it's just bad for their mental health.

"I wanted to make them stay until they're about 30 and keep on exercising."

In a statement, Mary O'Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, said: "We are pleased that the Government has recognised in the Policy the significant contribution sport makes to Ireland.

"The Federation of Irish Sport commends the ambition detailed in the Policy to elevate Irish Sport the top table globally, in terms of both participation and high performance and the commitment to pursue this objective relentlessly.

"We particularly welcome the Government’s stated intention to provide the necessary funding to deliver on the objectives set out in the Policy. This includes the stated intention to double funding to €220 million over the life of the Policy as well as introduce multi-annual funding for both participation and high performance.

"The Federation acknowledges the extent of the task ahead with 57 different actions identified in the Policy across eight different action areas including participation, facilities, high performance, capacity building, the National Sports Campus, the interaction of sport with other government and international organisations, integrity of sport and the financing of Irish Sport."

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