Friday, November 06, 2015

Meath to benefit from National Sports Policy

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has today welcomed this week’s announcement by Minister’s Paschal Donohoe and Michael Ring that a National Sports Policy Framework is soon to be developed, the first of its kind for 20 years.

The Ratoath TD said “this week’s announcement from the Department of Tourism will see the development of a National Sports Policy Framework, the first of its kind in 20 years. Earlier this week Minister Donohoe and Minister Ring held a consultation conference to seek the views of sports stakeholders on the issues and challenges facing Irish sport in the years to come with a view to developing Policy Framework. I am confident that this will help promote maximum participation in sport in Meath.
“Players and club organisations work year-in year-out to ensure that our sports clubs in Meath continue to progress and grow in our communities. Not an easy task but we are going from strength to strength in the county. 

“Just last month Meath received over €1.8 million in funding from the Department of Sports which I know first-hand will be of considerable benefit to so many. Funding can be an uphill battle when trying to progress as a club, and the Government has been a great help to applicants of the Sports Capital Grants in recent years. However, we also need direction as to where Meath sports clubs can be placed on the map at a national level.

“The new National Sports Policy will provide the framework for sport in Ireland over the next ten years and will set the agenda for the newly established Sport Ireland.  Some of the topics discussed at this week’s consultation were: increasing participation in sport, volunteers in sport, high performance sports, the future development of the National Sports Campus and regional and local facilities, among others. In developing the framework, consideration will also be given to where the focus of Government spending in sport should be and the wider cross-sectoral role of sport in the economy, education, health, tourism and other areas.”  

Doherty continued “this year, Budget 2016, saw an increase of 40% in our overall sports programme allocation, to €126 million. This will allow our elite athletes to be better supported, a new National Physical Activity Plan to be implemented, sports programmes to be targeted where they are most needed and our Sports Capital and Local Authority Swimming Pools programmes to allocate resources that will better serve our communities’. 
Concluding, the Meath East TD said “all of us who are involved in Irish sport must continue to work together and engage productively on matters that are important to sport in Meath.  We have a mutual interest in seeing sport develop to its full potential and this process will guide us in that direction.”

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