The Irish Sports Council has today announced details of its funding package for 2011.
A total €25.6m which will be invested into 57 national governing bodies of sport, including 18 high performance sports, and 32 local sports partnerships.
A total of €7.8m will be invested in high performance athletes and sports in 2011, the crucial preparatory and qualification period in advance of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This includes €1.95m under the International Carding Scheme, direct grants to 115 of Ireland’s top athletes including Katie Taylor, Kenneth Egan, Derval O’Rourke, Jason Smyth and Grainne Murphy.
Mr Kieran Mulvey, chairman of the Irish Sports Council, announced the funding for the National Governing Bodies of Sport will be €12.1m and for the Local Sports Partnerships will be €5.7m.
“Investing over €25m in the range of sports this year is a vote of confidence in the Irish sports sector. The Council believes that sport plays a central role in the social and cultural life of Ireland and will play a significant part in the economic recovery,” said Mr Mulvey.
Some €5.8 million is being allocated to 18 high performance sports for the implementation of their performance plans.
These plans provide a complete programme of support to elite athletes who also benefit directly under the International Carding Scheme.
A total of 115 individual athletes and 2 teams benefit under “carding” this year.
Eamonn Coghlan, who chairs the Council’s High Performance Committee said: “We were determined to maintain high performance funding levels in this critical year.
"Irish athletes won 30 medals in international championships competition in 2010, an incredible performance that demonstrates the effectiveness of the long term investment strategy of the Council”.
The Council said that it will be also active in developing the sports sector with national agencies such as Coaching Ireland, the GAA, FAI, IRFU, Olympic Council of Ireland, Paralympics Ireland and Age & Opportunity. Specific funding relevant programmes will be announced later in the year.
“The Council’s research demonstrates that the sports sector generates a significant return to the Exchequer investment by generating economic, social and health benefits,” said Irish Sports Council chief executive John Treacy.
“The governing bodies and sports partnerships are the main delivery agencies for sport and they will continue their excellent work in 2011.”