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Sport Ireland Outline NGB Funding Priorities for 2023

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers and Sport Ireland have reaffirmed their ongoing commitment with funding in supporting the development and enhancement of National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGB).

Further to Sport Ireland’s established investment criteria, diversity & inclusion along with improved governance & greater gender balance have been identified as key priorities for 2023.

In addition to the provision of increased Core Funding in 2022, a specific Winter Initiative aimed at increasing sports participation and boosting NGB & Club Membership also features.

These four priorities are reflective of National Policy and seek to support continued NGB recovery & growth post COVID 19.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD welcomed the announcement, saying, “continued Government investment in sport will be essential in ensuring a full recovery for the sport sector after two difficult years of Covid-19 restrictions and also in ensuring that that our objectives for sport are achieved. The €15 million investment in core funding for NGBs this year reflects Sport Ireland’s recognition of the central role that NGBs play in Irish sport.”

“As part of our ongoing investment, it is important that key Government policies relating to diversity and inclusion, gender balance and governance as well as our Covid-19 recovery initiatives are prioritised and I welcome the inclusion of these priority areas in Sport Ireland’s terms and conditions of grant funding for next year.” 

Speaking at the announcement, Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD commented, “with the assistance of significant Government investment in recent years, the sport sector has proven itself to be a resilient and vibrant sector which has delivered many benefits for our society. We have set ambitious objectives for sport in the areas of participation, high performance and governance and sporting organisations are delivering on these objectives.”

“From 2023, Sport Ireland’s grant funding to sporting organisations will be more closely aligned to our key policies for sport with four funding priorities being included as an important element of Sport Ireland’s grant funding criteria. These priorities relate to adoption of the Governance Code of Sport, achievement of 40% gender balance on Boards of NGBs, development of Diversity & Inclusion Plans, and support for the delivery of the Government’s Winter Initiative as part of the sector’s recovery from Covid-19. The inclusion of these funding priorities for 2023 will ensure that the State’s investment in sport is delivering on policy objectives and will, in turn, deliver greater benefits for everyone involved in sport.”


Sport Ireland will continue to place a strong emphasis on ensuring good governance across the sector. In line with the National Sports Policy, the majority of National Governing Bodies have to date fully adopted the Governance Code for Sport. Continued provision of Sport Ireland funding is reliant on ongoing adoption and adherence.

Gender Balance

NGBs are required by the end of 2023 to achieve a minimum of 40% female representation on their Boards. At present, 39 NGBs have 30% or more female representation at Board level with a number of NGBs already reporting a 40/60 gender split on their Board. 

Diversity and Inclusion

In May 2022 Sport Ireland launched its first Diversity and Inclusion Policy. The Sports Action Plan 2021 – 2023 places an important emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and the implementation of this Policy will drive that process forward. Governing Bodies will be expected to work with Sport Ireland in developing suitable diversity and inclusion plans for their organisations.

2022 -2023 Winter Initiative

As part of the post COVID 19 recovery Sport Ireland will seek support from National Governing Bodies in the delivery of an annual Winter Initiative for Sport. The primary focus of the initiative will be to:

  • Further contribute to the public health agenda, post pandemic
  • Provide additional opportunities for the public to engage and re-engage in sport and physical activity in communities across the country
  • Increase the visibility of NGBs and their affiliated Clubs within their local communities
  • Contribute to the ongoing recovery and growth of NGB and Club membership

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland Dr. Una May commented, “this announcement will provide the NGB’s with clarity around the funding priorities and areas of focus for 2023. We have already seen a strong emphasis from the vast majority of NGBs across these areas and Sport Ireland will continue to roll-out supports to assist all of our funded bodies meet these requirements.”

Core Funding 2022

2022 sees an increase in NGB investment with an additional €1,155,000 being invested in the sector bringing the total Core funding levels up to €15m. A further €115,000 and €60,000 were allocated to the Federation of Irish Sport and Student Sport Ireland in support it’s ongoing work with the sector.

2022 Core Funding was approved by the Board of Sport Ireland in December 2021, with NGBs in receipt of funding since the beginning of 2022.

Field Sport Investment

Additionally Sport Ireland has provided annual investment in the three large field sports – IRFU, GAA & FAI. A total of €2,389,653 has been allocated to the GAA and €2,250,843 to the IRFU. Funding provided by Sport Ireland supports vital coaching, games development and technical development programmes in both the GAA and IRFU.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the Government and the Football Association of Ireland, €5.8 million in funding will be made available to the FAI for football development programmes, pending approval by the Board of Sport Ireland.

Source: Sport Ireland

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