The application process for the Sports Capital Programme is to commence in the near future, and I call on sports clubs and organisations to prepare the necessary paperwork in advance.
“This week in the Seanad, I was pleased that the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport set out the timeline for the next round of sports capital funding. Spots clubs and organisations tend to hold their AGMs around this time of year and they want to put their plans in place. For an application to be successful they must have matching funds and so it takes some preparation.
“I was pleased that the Minister of State for Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, was able to confirm in the Seanad that the application process for the Sports Capital Programme for 2017 will be open by January at the latest. Clubs and organisations will be given a number of weeks to complete the application process, but they should start preparing for their application now.
“Based on previous rounds of the programme, the assessment process takes a number of months to complete so it is expected that actual grant allocations will be made during summer 2017. The Minister confirmed that he will be announcing more comprehensive details of the new round shortly, including all of the relevant deadline dates.
“The Sports Capital Grants were re-instated by the last Fine Gael government in 2012, after they’d been cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. I was delighted to hear it confirmed in Budget 2017, that the grants would resume again next year.
“The sports capital programme represents an excellent value for money investment. It is crucial we invest in sport and the health of our population, particularly with obesity is on the rise. Investing in sport is good for the health of the nation, both literally and economically.
“It’s also important to note that a lot of our biggest international sporting stars got their start in small clubs and sports organisations around the country. The Sports Capital Programme is crucial in helping provide the facilities for young people to train and learn, and perhaps one day to go on to greatness in a county jersey or even an Irish shirt.
“Fine Gael in Government is using our economic progress to invest in communities around the country and ensure that everyone can benefit. Sport is just one important element of this. So far this year, over €22.8 million has been paid out to 680 organisations to support the development of sports facilities and the purchase of sports equipment through the excellent Sports Capital Programme.”