The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and the Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, announced a €2.5 million investment under Phase II of the Sports Energy Support Scheme. This funding will provide support to over 1,900 clubs, community-led sports facilities, National Facilities and Major Stadiums in Ireland, to meet the rising energy costs associated with the provision of sport.
Building on the support previously provided by the Government last winter, this funding stream aims to help alleviate financial pressure as a result of increased energy costs on sports organisations, and ensure the sustainability of Irish sports clubs.
Under the Phase I of the Scheme, which covered energy costs for the period up to 31 March, €21 million was distributed through Sport Ireland Recognised National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) to support over 2,000 affiliated clubs and facilities, €1.8 million of which was provided to the National Sports Campus.
Phase II of the Scheme extended the eligibility period to cover energy costs for April and May and sports clubs and organisations that did not apply under Phase I, were able to make an application for funding. In addition, community-owned sports facilities not affiliated specifically to an NGB or who did not qualify for other government support schemes, were able to receive support through their Local Sports Partnership (LSP). This ensured that grassroots and community sport received maximum support.
This latest investment highlights the Government’s strong commitment to supporting Irish sports clubs and facilities throughout the country.
Minister Martin, said, “the benefits of sport and physical activity to health and wellbeing are well known and there are many cross-cutting benefits from investing in sport. Many sports clubs and organisations continue to experience financial pressures due to increased energy costs, and the extension of the Sports Energy Support Scheme will further support the sector. The scheme has now distributed over €23.5 million to clubs and facilities across the entire sporting community and throughout the country.”
In addition, Minister Byrne, said, “funding to sport has grown very significantly in the lifetime of this Government and this further investment of €2.5 million demonstrates our on-going commitment to assist sports clubs and organisations through the current difficult environment of increased operating costs. I want to thank the Sport Ireland team for all their hard work in administering the scheme and for their on-going support of the grassroots network of clubs and local sports partnerships, making sure sport remains accessible to all.”
Speaking on behalf of Sport Ireland, Dr Una May said, “we would like to thank Ministers Martin and Byrne for their ongoing support. The reopening of the Sports Energy Support Scheme demonstrates the Government’s dedication to alleviating the impact of increased energy costs on sports clubs and organisations, allowing them to continue providing access to sport and physical activity throughout 2023.”