A significant investment in Irish sport was announced at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Olympic Federation of Ireland last night. At the AGM where a surplus of €149,606 was reported to members, some important funding announcements were also made. Successful recipients of the €250,000 2019 Team Ireland Discretionary Funding pot were announced, as well as €70,000 Olympic Solidarity Funds, related to the Youth Olympic Games submissions from NGBs.
The OFI received Discretionary Funding applications which amounted to a total of €723,000 for a total funding pot of €250,000. The Discretionary Funding programme was introduced in July 2018 when €200,000 was distributed amongst member federations. Last March a 25% increase in the funding for year two was announced, with the successful sports using the investment to support Olympic sports in their preparation for major Games in the Olympic cycle.
Awards of between €5,000 and €20,000 were made to twenty two sports and will be applied across one of the three previously outlined categories. In total €121,000 of grants were allocated to ‘Make a Difference’ projects, €57,000 to Performance Coach Support and €72,000 to National Federation Olympic Development support.
Many of the largest awards related to test event support ahead of Tokyo 2020 as sports gear up for next year’s Olympic Games. However, there was also support for preparations underway for Beijing 2022 with grants provided to both winter sports which applied for funding, the Irish Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation and Snowsports Association of Ireland.
Under the rules of Discretionary funding, grants can only be awarded twice in the current four year Olympic cycle, and some of the 39 eligible sports opted not to apply this year for that reason.
In addition to the Discretionary Fund, ten sports which applied benefited from Olympic Solidarity Funds in relation to two options – Talent Identification or Qualification and Preparation for competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland announced the allocation,
“At the end of what was a successful year in 2018, I am pleased to announce the recipients of grants under the Discretionary Fund, and Olympic Solidarity Funds. Our athletes and member federations work very hard to ensure that Team Ireland has the best preparation for the Olympic Games, and we are glad to be able to provide a level of support to them in their journey. We received some very exciting proposals and are looking forward to monitoring the progress of our athletes over the coming year.”
The AGM also presented the opportunity to inform member federations about a courtesy vehicle supplied by Bridgestone for use free of charge by member Federations. This people carrier will be available to be booked by sports for events throughout the year and is supplied in addition to the Team Ireland Olympic Minibus that is already used regularly by Olympic Sports. The AGM took place in the Conference Centre at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown and attended by delegates from the member federations of the OFI.
2019 OFI Discretionary Fund Awards
Youth Olympic Games Olympic Solidarity Awards