Applications for sports capital grants massively oversubscribed
Ross says Sport Ireland will prefer to fund sports that are more likely to return medals for Ireland
The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sports Minister Shane Ross said “the prevailing view is that the funding is too widely spread”. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Applications for sports capital grants, which is Government funding that goes to clubs and local authorities for equipment, pitch-building and maintenance, has been massively oversubscribed this year.
Sporting bodies from around the country have applied for €163 million worth of grants, with just €40 million available for the Government to disburse.
Speaking at the Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport about the National Sports Policy 2018-2017, Minister for State Liam Griffin said officials were under pressure to facilitate the applications, which would be known in due course.
Minister Shane Ross, speaking at the same meeting, confirmed that Sport Ireland in the future would begin to prefer to fund sports that were likely to return medals for Ireland than those that were not. The targeted approach, said Mr Ross, represented better value for money.
“I think that is the aim at the moment. The prevailing view is that the funding is too widely spread. New Zealand with a similar population have a greater medal hit.”
Since the 1923 Olympics in Amsterdam, when Pat O’Callaghan won gold in the men’s hammer, just five other Irish sports outside athletics – boxing, sailing, equestrian, rowing and swimming – have won Olympic medals.