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Women’s Rugby Boosted By Sport Ireland’s Multi-Year Investment

Women’s Rugby Boosted By Sport Ireland’s Multi-Year Investment

Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall was present at the Sport Ireland Campus in Abbotstown for today's funding announcement ©SPORTSFILE/David Fitzgerald

Sport Ireland today announced a multi-year investment of over €3 million in National Governing Bodies of sport, including the IRFU, through the relaunched ‘Women in Sport’ programme.

This compliments the €265,000 allocated to Local Sports Partnerships earlier this year, bring Sport Ireland’s investment in ‘Women in Sport’ for 2019 and 2020 to €3,277,000.

Today’s announcement follows the publication of Sport Ireland’s new Policy on ‘Women in Sport’ earlier this year. The policy builds on the significant work that has already been undertaken in this area within the sport sector to date, recognising the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of women through their involvement in sport.

The Policy on ‘Women in Sport’ identifies, Coaching & Officiating, Active Participation, Leadership & Governance and Visibility, as four key target areas, with National Governing Bodies invited to apply for funding under these themes.

Speaking at the announcement at the Sport Ireland Campus in Blanchardstown, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, said: “One of the key objectives of the Government’s National Sports Policy is to increase the number of women and girls participating in sport and to eliminate the participation gradient between men and women.

“While the gender gradient, at 4.5%, is narrower now than at any point over the past ten years, it is important that this gradient is eliminated altogether. Sport Ireland’s new ‘Women in Sport’ Policy and the relaunched ‘Women in Sport’ Programme is essential in this regard.

“I want to pay a particular tribute to our high profile sportswomen who continue to inspire and encourage thousands of girls and young women throughout Ireland every day to become involved in sport and to stay involved.”

Through the ‘Women in Sport’ Programme, many National Governing Bodies for sport have developed innovative programmes which target groups of young girls, teenage girls and older adults, including the IRFU’s own ‘Give It A Try’. While active participation remains important, the areas of leadership, coaching and officiating have become a key focus for many of the National Governing Bodies.

Chair of the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Steering Group, Lynne Cantwell, a Grand Slam winner with the Ireland Women in 2013, added: “Through the allocation of this funding, the Sport Ireland ‘Women in Sport’ Policy is coming to life. While active participation remains vitally important, in line with the ‘Women in Sport’ Policy, Sport Ireland encouraged funded bodies to look at other areas of involvement as well.

“The funding process has seen National Governing Bodies embrace projects focused on developing leadership opportunities, and pathways to coaching and officiating. This holistic approach will lead to a step-change in the landscape for women’s involvement in sport across the board from grassroots to leadership.”

A key aim of the ‘Women in Sport’ programme is to have equal participation between males and females in sport. The gender gradient in sports participation has closed from 15.7% to 4.5% since 2007 according to the most recent Irish Sports Monitor (2017).

Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey commented:“The allocation of this substantial investment in the National Governing Bodies through the ‘Women in Sport’ Programme is the first tangible deliverable of the new ‘Women in Sport’ Policy, which was published earlier this year.

“Through moving to a multi-annual funding model, we are looking to create long lasting cultural change within the sporting landscape, where opportunities exist for girls and women of all ages, background or circumstance.”

Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy stated: “That fact that the ‘Women in Sport’ funding programme was oversubscribed demonstrates the buy-in from the sector to make a meaningful impact. With the publication of the Sport Ireland ‘Women in Sport’ Policy, the appointment of Nora Stapleton as ‘Women in Sport’ Lead and the relaunched ‘Women in Sport’ Programme, we will look to substantially increase the number of women and girls getting involved in sport.”

One of the key actions of the Sport Ireland ‘Women in Sport’ Policy is the appointment of a Women in Sport Lead to act authoritatively and strategically to develop and promote the involvement of women and girls in sport. Former Ireland out-half Stapleton, who was also part of that 2013 Grand Slam-winning team, was appointed to the role in April of this year.

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May, added: “The allocation of funding is an important step in the delivery of action 32 of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027, which promotes gender diversity and equality action plans.

“Through the publication of the ‘Women in Sport’ Policy, we are committing to increasing women’s involvement in sport in a sustainable way – whether that be as volunteers, coaches, athletes or leaders. As one of the key actions of the policy, Sport Ireland has appointed Nora to the position of ‘Women in Sport’ Lead. She will be a support to all of our funded bodies as their ‘Women in Sport’ programmes come to life.”

‘Women In Sport’ Funding Allocations:

Organisation Allocation 2019 Allocation 2020 Total 2-year Allocation
IRFU 120,000.00 120,000.00 240,000.00
Confederation of Golf in Ireland 100,000.00 100,000.00 200,000.00
 
Athletics Ireland 75,000.00 75,000.00 150,000.00
Tennis Ireland 75,000.00 75,000.00 150,000.00
Gymnastics Ireland 75,000.00 75,000.00 150,000.00
Hockey Ireland 75,000.00 75,000.00 150,000.00
Swim Ireland 75,000.00 75,000.00 150,000.00
Basketball Ireland 50,000.00 50,000.00 100,000.00
Cycling Ireland 50,000.00 50,000.00 100,000.00
Rowing Ireland 50,000.00 50,000.00 100,000.00
Triathlon Ireland 50,000.00 50,000.00 100,000.00
Badminton Ireland 40,000.00 40,000.00 80,000.00
Canoeing Ireland 40,000.00 40,000.00 80,000.00
Irish Sailing 40,000.00 40,000.00 80,000.00
Irish Wheelchair Association – Sport 40,000.00 40,000.00 80,000.00
Ladies Gaelic Football Association 40,000.00 40,000.00 80,000.00
Cricket Ireland 35,000.00 35,000.00 70,000.00
Irish Athletic Boxing Association 35,000.00 35,000.00 70,000.00
Motorsport Ireland 35,000.00 35,000.00 70,000.00
Mountaineering Ireland 25,000.00 25,000.00 50,000.00
National Community Games 25,000.00 25,000.00 50,000.00
Volleyball Association of Ireland 25,000.00 25,000.00 50,000.00
Irish Judo Association 20,000.00 20,000.00 40,000.00
The Camogie Association 20,000.00 20,000.00 40,000.00
Olympic Federation of Ireland 20,000.00 20,000.00 40,000.00
Paralympics Ireland & CARA 15,000.00 15,000.00 30,000.00
Fencing Ireland 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
GAA Handball 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
Irish Olympic Handball Association 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
Irish Orienteering Association 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
Irish Squash 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
Irish Surfing 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
Irish Tug of War 10,000.00 10,000.00 20,000.00
BolchumannnahEireann 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Bowling League of Ireland 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Croquet Association of Ireland 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Deaf Sports Ireland 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Irish Waterski & Wakeboard Federation 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Irish Ice Hockey Association 5,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00
Weightlifting Ireland 3,000.00 3,000.00 6,000.00
Special Projects 228,000* 78,000.00* 306,000.00
Total Allocation 1,581,000.00 1,431,000.00 3,012,000.00

* Funding will be ring-fenced under ‘Women in Sport’ for strategically important internal and funded organisation related events and projects under Special Projects funding. To date, €20,000 per year has been allocated to the Federation of Irish Sport for upcoming ‘Women in Sport’ projects.