Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
1081. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has given consideration to funding support for grassroots sports groups which fall outside the eligibility criteria of the Covid-19 stability fund for community and voluntary, charity and social enterprises which will be critical to persons when exiting the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6921/20]
While, as the Deputy states, many grass roots sports clubs fall outside the eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 Stability Fund, they can benefit from the various cross-sectoral measures already introduced by the Government, notably the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the series of enterprise supports ranging from liquidity funding, loan schemes and grants\vouchers, as well as deferred tax payments and deferral of commercial rates.
I am acutely aware of the particular difficulties and challenges facing sporting organisations, both locally and nationally. A COVID-19 Sports Monitoring Group, chaired at Ministerial level, has been established to engage directly with the sporting bodies. Sport Ireland is also directly engaging with the sporting bodies on an ongoing basis in relation to the development of protocols to facilitate a safe return to training and competition.
This extensive engagement with the sport sector has highlighted the significant, adverse impact of COVID-19 at all levels of the Irish sporting landscape. It has also demonstrated the importance of implementing an appropriate and focused response to the challenges facing all strands of the sector, ranging from the local sporting organisations and clubs to the National Governing Bodies. It is accordingly intended to develop a Sport Recovery Action Plan, in consultation with the sector, aimed at minimising the impacts and preparing the sector to restart activity, as part of the national recovery and renewal.