Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Sport and Recreational Development
101. To ask the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her views on a proposal (supplied supplied); if support will be provided to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33222/21]
Under its statutory remit, Sport Ireland is the development agency in Ireland for all sports including football. Consideration of funding proposals for any particular sport such as the one referred to by the Deputy arises accordingly in that context, also bearing in mind the specific role and responsibility of the National Governing Body concerned.
As the recognised National Governing Body for the development of football in Ireland, the FAI is currently in the process of developing a new Strategic Plan which will identify targeted and measurable objectives and the key enablers for delivery, to drive the development of football in Ireland in the coming years. I consider that all proposals for the development of football in Ireland, including the one to which the Deputy refers, requires assessment in the particular context of that new Strategic Plan and also bearing in mind the Government’s broader National Sport Policy (2018-2027).
There is considerable emphasis in current programming on the important role of schools. The FAI currently delivers a range of programmes and projects in second level schools. In a normal year, the FAI target a participation level of some 6,000 players in its post-primary school futsal programme delivered locally and regionally by FAI Development Officers. 38,000 participants also take part in the FAI’s Post-Primary Schools competitions. The FAI has also delivered programmes/coach education course for Transition Year students in secondary schools. Programmes are also delivered by the FAI in third level colleges and universities both with a participation focus and also coach education. The FAI have also delivered Education Training Board courses supporting Player Development to approx. 250 trainees in a given academic year.
There is already considerable financial support provided by the State for the development of football in Ireland. The Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the FAI for the period 2020-2023, provides for a package of funding of €5.8million per annum to the FAI for the period 2020-2023 for football development as well as a recoupable amount of €7.6338million, (paid in three instalments of €2.5446 million, directly to New Stadium DAC (trading as Aviva Stadium) on behalf of the FAI in each of the years 2020, 2021 and 2022,) towards the licence fee payable to New Stadium DAC. In addition to this funding, Sport Ireland has also invested an additional €13.2m in the FAI in COVID-19 grants as part of the Government’s €88.5m COVID-19 funding package for the overall sports sector announced last year.
Proposals for an alteration of the distribution of proceeds from the betting levy are a matter for my colleague the Minister for Finance.