The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has today welcomed the awarding of funding totalling €1.8 million from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Sport Ireland. Additionally, the Aviva Stadium received over €1 million as part of the Sports Energy Support Scheme.
The funding stems from 2022 Dormant Accounts Funding, the Sports Energy Support Scheme, and the COVID-19 Grant Schemes. Over €1 million has been allocated via the Sports Energy Support Scheme which equates to the full amount which the IRFU sought to offset the increased energy costs across Irish Rugby, especially our Clubs.
A Covid Return to Sport Recovery Grant of €147,000 has been awarded for a variety of projects including a joint initiative with the GAA for ‘Respect Our Game’ week in February 2023, non-contact Education for players, coach, and match officials, upgrading systems and establishing a Participation Data Hub to undertake predictive analysis to design new competition and participation models for a post covid landscape.
A Diversity & Inclusion Fund totalling €164,000 will be shared by the 49 specified Clubs who applied for it.
Sport Ireland are also providing a final, once off ‘Recovery’ grant of €500,000 to Sporting Organisations to ensure that the sports sector can overcome any remaining barriers to a full return to organised sport after the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with Sport Ireland recommendations, the IRFU will look to use this to commence initiatives that seek to support recommendations identified under the Women in Rugby report that broaden inclusion in rugby, ‘post pandemic’.
IRFU Chief Executive Kevin Potts said: “On behalf of the IRFU I would like to once again, thank the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Sport Ireland for their ongoing support of Rugby and Sport generally. It has been a challenging period for all, but vital support from Government and Sport Ireland has greatly assisted Irish Rugby to recommence activities across the country over the course of this year.
“While we are in a challenging period, with ongoing cost of living increases and rising energy costs, the receipt of these grants, at this time, will greatly assist our Clubs and a number of important initiatives across our game in the months ahead.”