Funding for local sports groups in Kilkenny will help the sector offset losses incurred and address other challenges posed by Covid-19, according to Fine Gael Deputy, John Paul Phelan.
“I am delighted that an unprecedented funding package of €85 million has been put in place for the Irish sport sector, which will help local groups in Kilkenny in what has been a difficult year with much activity stalled due to Covid-19.
“The funding being allocated by Sport Ireland will address the existential threat to National Governing Bodies and their club networks, and local sports organisations in Kilkenny.
“Through the Local Sports Partnership Small Grant Scheme18 clubs in Kilkenny will be allocated funding of €17,797.29. This scheme provides an additional mechanism to support community groups & clubs who may not be affiliated to a national organisation or but provide a vital local service. The primary aim of the grants is to cover the costs associated with implementing Covid-19 hygiene and social distancing protocols.
“A further €19,370 is being allocated to the local sports partnership in Kilkenny for sports innovation projects. This funding aims specifically to promote and develop new programmes and projects that can advance sport and physical activity in the post-Covid-19 public health era.
“This Government is committed to the Irish sports sector and earlier this year announced funding of €70 million to protect the national sports system in Ireland.
“Over €64 million of funding has been allocated to National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded bodies across four key schemes.
“An Emergency Fund to the value of €5.8 million has been ring-fenced to offset losses incurred by sports organisations during the current Level 5 restrictions and the remaining period of 2020.
“Sport Ireland was in a position to meet the requests of National Governing Bodies for their club networks to the tune of €9.7 million, and an additional €5 million will also be invested in the GAA, IRFU and FAI club networks.
“In addition to the Covid-19 fund outlined above, the Government has allocated an additional €15 million to GAA, Camogie Association and Ladies Gaelic Football Association specifically for the running of the Inter-County Championships. There is also dedicated funding for disability and older adult sport.
“This has been an extremely challenging year for the sport sector but support is available, and I wish to thank the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jack Chambers TD for their continued commitment to this area,” Deputy Phelan concluded.