Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, today announced an investment package of 7.4 million euro from the Irish Sports Council, to support grassroots development in Rugby, Football and Gaelic Games.
Today’s announcement will see a 2.36 million euro invested in Irish Rugby and supports the Irish Sports Council’s strategic aim of increasing participation in sports throughout Ireland.
This includes coach development, club support, under-age programmes, volunteer support programmes, community schemes, referee development and targeting at-risk communities.
Announcing the package, Minister Michael Ring said: “Today’s investment will support the extensive participation programmes aimed at encouraging and creating more opportunities for young people to participate in field sports.
“The investment supports the long-term sustainable development of the FAI, GAA and IRFU and contributes significantly to our communities in sport and the health and well-being of the nation.”
Kieran Mulvey, Chairperson of the Irish Sports Council, explained: “We are delighted with today’s investment. These youth field programmes are based on a shared ethos of developing the grassroots of the games, growing participation numbers and targeting communities outside of the traditional base of the sport.”
Speaking at the announcement, John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council, acknowledged: “The Irish Sports Council shares a common goal with the GAA, IRFU and FAI to increase participation in sport and physical activity.
“In 2014, the Irish Sports Council supported over 770,000 participants in various programmes across 4,656 clubs. Today’s investment highlights our strategy of encouraging participation across Ireland, from every age group and from all social backgrounds, removing barriers that prevent participation in sport.”
FIELD SPORTS INVESTMENT IN NUMBERS – RUGBY:
– In 2014, with the support of the Irish Sports Council, over 770,125 participants took part in various programmes delivered by the GAA, IRFU and FAI across a network of 4,656 clubs supported by 108,739 accredited coaches and 550 development staff
– In 2015, the Irish Sports Council will invest over €;7.4 million in the Youth Field Sports Programme. This investment is broadly aimed at encouraging and creating more opportunities for young people to participate in field sports
– In 2015, the Irish Sports Council will invest €;2.25 million to support the implementation of the Development Programme and €;114,000 to support its Women in Sport Programme in the IRFU
– 66,483 children given the opportunity to play rugby as part of the school development programme
– 19% increase in youth rugby teams since 2006/07
– 30% increase in girls participation in rugby from Under-13 to Under-19 since 2010