National Sports Policy Framework Public Consultation Paper

National Sports Policy Framework Public Consultation Paper
National Sports Policy Framework
    Public Consultation Paper
          November 2016
National Sports Policy Framework Public Consultation Paper
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework                                                            Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport




Contents

1.       Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 4
2.       How to submit your views....................................................................................................................... 6
3.       Contribution of Sport .............................................................................................................................. 7
4.       Participation ............................................................................................................................................ 9
5.       High Performance ................................................................................................................................. 15
6.       Local and Regional Facilities .................................................................................................................. 18
7.       National Sports Campus ........................................................................................................................ 21
8.       Governance ........................................................................................................................................... 27
9.       Coaching ................................................................................................................................................ 30
10.      Volunteer engagement ......................................................................................................................... 31
11.      Safety in sport ....................................................................................................................................... 33
12.      Integrity of sport and international influence....................................................................................... 35
13.      Sport in a cross-sectoral context ........................................................................................................... 38
14.      Outdoor recreation ............................................................................................................................... 41
15.      Sports Tourism ...................................................................................................................................... 43
16.      Financing Irish Sport .............................................................................................................................. 46
17.      Measuring the impact of sport.............................................................................................................. 49
Appendix 1 - Trends in participation levels in sport 2007-2015...................................................................... 50
Appendix 2 – Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Performances by Team Ireland .......................................... 52
Appendix 3 - Breakdown of high performance expenditure 2006-2015 ........................................................ 55
Appendix 4 - Athletes and teams funded through Sport Ireland’s International Carding Scheme 2016........ 56
Appendix 5 - Allocations by the Sports Capital Programme 2014-2015 by sport ........................................... 60
Appendix 6 - Usage figures for National Sports Campus Facilities .................................................................. 62
References ....................................................................................................................................................... 63




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National Sports Policy Framework Public Consultation Paper
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework                  Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport




    FOREWORD BY MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, TOURISM AND SPORT
    I am very pleased to publish this consultation document on the first National Sports Policy
    Framework in 20 years. Sport is an important part of the daily lives of Irish people and has a
    key role across many policy areas of Irish society. It is imperative that we continue to
    recognise the crucial role that sport plays in Ireland and the benefits that investment in
    sport has economically, socially and on the health of the general population.

    The new policy will consider what should be the priorities for Government investment in
    sport. There will always be competing demands for Government resources from different
    sectors and we need to ensure that future funding for sport is targeted at the right
    interventions and that we have the appropriate balance of funding across a range of areas
    from participation to high performance.

    This is an exciting time for Irish sport. There has been significant change in the last number
    of years with the establishment of Sport Ireland, with the enormous strides that have been
    made in the development of the National Sports Campus and through investment under the
    Sports Capital Programme.

    It is vital that all stakeholders involved in Irish sport have their say in the development of
    this new policy. You are the leaders who work tirelessly to champion the importance of
    sport in Irish life; who drive for greater participation; who strive for higher wins. I look
    forward to hearing your views and to working closely with you, as we define the strategic
    direction and adopt a new National Sports Policy Framework for the years ahead.



    Shane Ross TD

    Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport




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    FOREWORD BY MINISTER OF STATE FOR TOURISM AND SPORT
    There is a lot to be proud of in Irish sport. There are many excellent facilities and
    programmes in place around the country to encourage increased participation in
    recreational sport and to support our high performance athletes who continue to do us
    proud on the international stage. The work of Sport Ireland, the National Governing Bodies
    of Sport, the Local Sports Partnerships and the huge number of volunteers involved in sport
    is invaluable and the Government is strongly supportive of their work.

    However, there are also many challenges facing sport and the new National Sports Policy
    Framework provides an opportunity for all of us involved in Irish sport to address these
    challenges and put in place the best possible structures to support sport across all areas.
    Recent events have highlighted the need to maintain public confidence in all state funded
    bodies and governance will form a key part of the new National Sports Policy Framework.

    While huge strides have been made in increasing the levels of participation over the last
    decade, there are continuing challenges around gender, social, age and disability gradients
    in participation. There are also worrying trends in drop-off points in participation by
    children and young people which we need to consider.

    We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in sport at all levels
    from early childhood right up to the highest elite level. The new sports policy also gives us
    an opportunity for a more joined-up approach to sport across Government from education
    to health to tourism. I am very interested in hearing the opinions, views and ideas that you
    the stakeholders have about the future shape of Irish Sports Policy and how we can deliver
    the very best for sport in Ireland over the coming years.



    Patrick O’Donovan TD

    Minister of State for Tourism and Sport




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    1.       Introduction
    The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD and the Minister of State for
    Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD are developing a new National Sports Policy to
    provide a framework for sport in Ireland over the next ten years and to set the agenda for
    Sport Ireland. The National Sports Policy Framework will address a range of topics relevant
    to sport and the challenges and opportunities for sport in the coming years. The sport
    sector is recognised as having positive economic, social, cultural and health benefits both for
    individuals and broader society. The National Sports Policy Framework will set out where
    the focus of Government spending in sport will be and the wider cross-sectoral role of sport
    in the economy, education, health, tourism and other areas.

    The Ministers’ high-level goal for sport is to contribute to a healthier and more active society
    by promoting sports participation and by supporting high performance sport and the
    provision of facilities. Government funding for sport is provided through the Department of
    Transport, Tourism and Sport which directly administers and funds the Sports Capital and
    Local Authority Swimming Pool Programmes and allocates funding to Sport Ireland to deliver
    its functions.

    Sport Ireland is a Government Agency established on 1 October 2015. It replaced the Irish
    Sports Council and the National Sports Campus Development Authority and took on the
    functions previously performed by the Council and the Authority. Sport Ireland has
    responsibility for the development of Irish sport, including responsibility for such matters as:

         -   the development of strategies relating to participation in sport;
         -   supporting elite athletes in achieving excellence in sport;
         -   facilitating standards of good conduct, fair play and the elimination of doping in
             sport;
         -   the development of the National Sports Campus;
         -   the management and operation of the National Sports Campus;
         -   the development of guidelines and codes of conduct promoting best practice for the
             protection of children in sport; and
         -   the development of coaches and tutors at all levels in sport.

    There are currently 65 National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) which, along with their
    member clubs and affiliates, manage and administer organised sport in Ireland. They train
    and deploy coaches, organise representative level sport, provide opportunities and
    pathways leading from local sports (through their clubs) to national and international
    competition, deliver critical national sports programmes in areas such as anti-doping and
    the safeguarding of children in sport, and organise and host international sporting events.
    Sport Ireland provides funding to NGBs to allow them to carry out the core activities



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    required to deliver quality sport in Ireland, including administration, coach education and
    hosting and participating at international events. Sport Ireland also supports a national
    network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships who coordinate and promote the development of
    sport at local level and aim to increase levels of participation.

    The National Sports Policy Framework will address the structures, programmes and
    infrastructure required for recreational and high performance sport and how best to
    facilitate and support the achievement of sport objectives over the next ten years.

    Consultation process
    The purpose of this consultation process is to invite interested parties to submit written
    views/observations/suggestions on the future of Irish sport. This public consultation
    process, along with the relevant stakeholder engagement, will contribute significantly to the
    delivery of a National Sports Policy. As a first step, a consultation day with a range of sports
    stakeholders was held on 5 November 2015.

    Respondents to this consultation paper, the second step in the process, are invited to
    consider questions which have been categorised under the following themes:

            Contribution of Sport
            Participation
            High Performance
            Local and Regional Facilities
            National Sports Campus
            Governance
            Coaching
            Volunteer engagement
            Safety in sport
            Integrity of sport and international influence
            Sport in a cross-sectoral context
            Outdoor recreation
            Sports Tourism
            Financing Irish Sport
            Measuring the impact of sport


    It is hoped that the questions posed will aid consideration of the topics covered.
    Respondents are not confined to answering the sample questions. Respondents are invited
    to offer any other contributions they wish to make.




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    2.       How to submit your views
    Respondents are requested to make their submissions in writing and, where possible, by
    email. Respondents are requested to ensure that electronic submissions are furnished in an
    unprotected format. Views are requested by Friday, 6 January 2017:
         1. by email to sportspolicyandcampus@dttas.ie
             or
         2. by post to:
             Ms Rosalie Quinsey
             Sports Policy and Campus Division
             Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
             Leeson Lane
             Dublin 2
             D02 TR60

    Confidentiality of Submissions
    Contributors are requested to note that it is the Department’s policy to treat all submissions
    received as being in the public domain unless confidentiality is specifically requested.
    Respondents are, therefore, requested to clearly identify material they consider to be
    confidential and to place same in a separate annex to their response, labelled
    “confidential”. Where responses are submitted by email, and those emails include
    automatically generated notices stating that the content of same should be treated as
    confidential, contributors should clarify in the body of their emails as to whether their
    comments are to be treated as confidential.

    Relevant provisions of Freedom of Information Act 1997 (as amended)
    Respondents’ attention is drawn to the fact that information provided to the Department
    may be disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
    Therefore, should you consider that any information you provide is commercially sensitive,
    please identify same, and specify the reason for its sensitivity. The Department will consult
    with any potentially affected respondent regarding information identified as sensitive
    before making a decision on any Freedom of Information request.

    Queries
    Any queries regarding this consultation should be made by emailing
    sportspolicyandcampus@dttas.ie or by contacting Ms Rosalie Quinsey at 01-6041237.




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    3.       Contribution of Sport
    Sport has a very special place in the hearts and lives of Irish people, whether as participants
    or spectators, and it contributes hugely to our society in many ways. It plays a vital role in
    contributing to the health and quality of life of the Irish population and supporting the
    development of social capital. Sport and sport-related activities also generate a significant
    contribution to the Irish economy.

    Sport and Health
    The positive impact of sport on health and the prevention of illness and disability is widely
    recognised and sport has great potential to contribute to a much healthier society. The
    health benefits that can be gained from participation in sport are significant, not just for the
    individual but also for our health system, with the consequent reduction in the demand on
    health services. Participation in sport can improve physical and mental health, safeguard
    against a number of diseases and illnesses and develop a better all-round quality of life.

    Social role of sport
    The social impact of sport is very important and has been a key element in the formulation
    of sport policy. Sport can teach participants important life-skills such as teamwork,
    discipline and leadership which can educate children and young people and enhance
    employability. Sport can also play an important role in tackling some of the social
    challenges faced by society, including social exclusion and anti-social behaviour. Sport gets
    people involved and invested in their community through membership and participation in
    sports clubs and attendance at sporting events, whether in the community or at large-scale
    sporting events. Sport can further enhance the integration of new communities by bringing
    people of all backgrounds together in an inclusive atmosphere.

    Economic value of sport
    The sport sector is a significant contributor to the economy, a contribution which includes
    sports tourism, ticket sales, subscriptions and the cost of playing sport, together with the
    purchase of sports equipment and merchandise, and the economic value of time given by
    volunteers.

    The 2010 report on the Assessment of Economic Impact of Sport in Ireland1 found that:
            Irish households spend a total of €1.9 billion on sport and sport‐related goods and
             services, equivalent to 2% of the overall value of consumer spending in the Irish
             economy;
            Sport‐related spending contributes €1.8 billion to the Irish economy value‐added,
             equivalent to 1.4% of economy‐wide value‐added or GDP;
            Sport and sport‐related activities support over 38,000 full‐time equivalent jobs, or
             over 2% of the overall level of employment in Ireland; and



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            Sport‐related volunteering activity is estimated to have an economic value
             equivalent to between €322 million and €582 million annually.

    While these figures relate to 2008, the report highlights the significant contribution
    provided by sport to the Irish economy. A 2012 study commissioned by the European
    Commission, “EU study on the Contribution of Sport to Economic Growth and
    Employment”2, found that sport contributed €2.4 billion to the Irish economy whilst
    supporting 40,532 jobs.


    Questions for consideration
      How can sport play a more effective role as part of the wider government strategies in
       the following areas?
                     Combatting physical health conditions
                     Addressing mental health issues
                     Enhancing social inclusion and integration
                     Contributing to economic growth




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    4.        Participation
    Participation in sport should be an enjoyable experience for all ages and there is a need to
    strike a balance between enjoyment and competitiveness, particularly in relation to children
    and young people’s participation. It is important that children are taught the necessary
    fundamental skills at an early age to allow them to participate in sport and move easily
    between different sports if they wish as they get older. There is also a need for policy to
    take account of Ireland’s changing demography with a significantly ageing and more
    ethnically and culturally diverse population.

    The key priority for government investment in sport has been to promote maximum
    participation in sport as everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sport
    regardless of ability, age, disability, ethnic background, gender or sexual orientation. Sport
    Ireland has in place policies on equality in recreational sport and advocates that no one
    should be discriminated against within sport on any grounds of gender. In developing the
    National Sports Policy Framework, the Department will engage with Sport Ireland on what
    further actions it can take, separately and working alongside the National Governing Bodies
    of Sport, to promote equality in sport, including gender equality and the promotion of LGBT
    inclusion in sport.

    Sport Ireland expenditure on participation
    Sport Ireland, the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), the Local Sports Partnerships
    (LSPs) and volunteers at community and grassroots level are delivering important
    programmes throughout the country to encourage greater participation in sport. The table
    and graph overleaf shows details of Sport Ireland’s (previously the Irish Sports Council)
    expenditure on participation from 2006-2015.


                                           2006          2007   2008   2009   2010    2011   2012     2013     2014    2015
              Expenditure
                                            (€m)         (€m)   (€m)   (€m)    (€m)   (€m)   (€m)     (€m)     (€m)    (€m)
     Participation†                         25.4         33.9   33.7   32.6    31.1   29.1    26.7     25.7     25.0   27.4
     Total current expenditure              40.9         54.0   57.2   51.7    49.6   46.8    44.5     43.4     43.2   44.3
     % of total current
     expenditure                            62%          63%    59%    63%     63%    62%     60%      59%      58%     62%
    †These figures do not include administration costs
    NOTE: Participation Figure for 2015 includes Dormant Account Funding of €1.795m




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    60.0


    50.0


    40.0                                                              Participation Expenditure €m

    30.0                                                              Total current expenditure on
                                                                      sport €m
    20.0


    10.0


     0.0
            2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015



    Adult participation in sport
    Sport Ireland’s Irish Sports Monitor tracks active and social participation in sport among
    adults in Ireland. The most recent full year figures from the Irish Sports Monitor Annual
    Report 20153 show that following a number of years of increasing levels of participation in
    sport, participation levels have declined slightly since 2013. Adult participation rose from
    44.8% in 2011 to 47.2% in 2013, but has since fallen to 45%, which is equivalent to almost
    1.6 million Irish adults participating in sport regularly.

    The reason suggested for the slight decrease in levels of participation is that it is a reversal of
    the trend noticed during the economic downturn i.e. now that the economy is improving
    and more people are working additional hours or are returning to work, they have less free
    time to participate in sporting activity.

    The Irish Sports Monitor highlights continuing challenges around gender, social, age and
    disability gradients in participation. Appendix 1 includes graphs on the trends in
    participation levels from 2007 to 2015 and a breakdown across some of the gradients.


    Key findings from the 2015 ISM Annual Report:
     o Approximately 1.6 million Irish adults aged 16+ regularly participate in sport and
       exercise.

     o Personal exercise is the most popular activity (13.7%) with running (8.2%),
       swimming (8%), cycling (5.5%) and soccer (4.8%) the next most popular. Soccer,
       Gaelic football and swimming are the most common sports played with children.



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     o Participation levels have declined for both genders with a larger decline among
       males resulting in a narrower gender gap in participation.

     o While some sports participated in on an individual basis show an increase in
       participation (e.g. gym-based activities such as personal exercise and Pilates), the
       proportion participating in team-based sports has declined. The extent of people
       dropping out from team sports is much higher than for sports participated in on an
       individual basis.

     o Declines in sports participation are more pronounced among older individuals as
       well as those living in lower income households and lower socio-economic groups.
       This is leading to a widening social gradient.

     o Walking remains the most popular physical activity among all aged over 35 years
       old, with more people participating in it than in all forms of sport combined.

     o There is a narrowing in the gender divide that exists in cycling for transport.

     o 30.2% of adults are meeting the National Physical Activity Guidelines4 through
       sport and recreational walking.


    Children’s and young people’s participation in sport
    The participation levels of Irish children and young people in sport and physical activity are
    low in comparison to other countries. The 2010 Children’s Sport Participation and Physical
    Activity study5 looked at physical activity, physical education and sports participation levels
    of children and youth in Ireland. The study found that only 19% of primary school children
    and 12% of post-primary school children are reaching the recommended levels of physical
    activity. Girls are less likely than boys to meet the recommended physical activity levels and
    the likelihood of meeting the recommended physical activity levels decreases with age.

    The ‘Keeping them in the Game’ report6 looked at participation in sport and recreational
    exercise from school years through to adulthood and showed the challenges that exist in
    keeping people involved in sport across the different life stages. The report highlights the
    growing evidence that links low levels of physical activity to poor health and focuses on why
    people take up and drop out from sport and exercise activities at different life stages.
    Roughly one-in-ten active participants at primary school have dropped out of sport by the
    first year of second level education and this is higher in the lower socio-economic group.
    Another finding of the report which provides support for promoting physical activity in
    school and elsewhere is the positive association between sports participation and academic
    performance.



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    Media and Technology
    Media and technology can play a major role in promoting sport both for spectators and
    participants. The media can help raise the profile of sports which perhaps traditionally
    received less focus e.g. women’s sport, minority sports or non-traditional sports. Many
    sports organisations are now also using the power of social media to engage new and
    existing participants. The policy of promotion of sport through both traditional and social
    media is one which should be embraced, as it can play a vital role in communicating the
    benefits of sport and physical activity to a wider audience.

    Technology is a huge part of society and is constantly evolving. With the availability of
    health, fitness, sport and physical activity apps, technology can encourage participation in
    sport and physical activity. New technology can play a role in increasing participation by
    allowing users to identify opportunities to take part, connect with other participants,
    monitor individual progress, share success and set new goals and challenges to aim for.
    There is a need to ensure that sport can adapt to changing technology and look at the
    potential of media and technology to encourage increased participation in sport.

    Sport vs Physical Activity
    Sport can have different meanings for different groups and individuals. There are many
    types of sport varying from recognised sports governed by national bodies to new emerging
    sporting activities. Similarly there are different ways to participate in sport – some people
    like to participate in competitive sport while others enjoy the social and/or health aspects of
    participation but do not wish to take part competitively. Sport Ireland is responsible for
    increasing participation in recreational sport at national and local level and participation
    programmes are delivered through the NGBs and the network of LSPs around the country,
    including programmes aimed at specific target groups, namely women, older people,
    disadvantaged communities and people with a disability.

    In relation to the wider concept of physical activity, encompassing sport and other activities,
    the first National Physical Activity Plan7 was published on 14 January 2016. The Plan was
    developed by a cross-sectoral working group which was co-chaired by the Department of
    Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of Health. This structure was chosen in
    recognition of the cross-cutting nature of physical activity, where policy on sport, health,
    education, children, environment and transport all have a key role to play. One of the aims
    of the National Physical Activity Plan is to strengthen the link between the development of
    play policy in early childhood and overall physical activity policy in order to ensure a joined
    up approach to physical activity from childhood through to adult life.

    The overarching target of the National Physical Activity Plan is to increase the proportion of
    the population, across each life stage, undertaking regular physical activity by 1% per annum
    in the period up to 2020. Targets have been set for the population groups of children,



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    adults and older people. A cross-sectoral group has been established to oversee
    implementation of the National Physical Activity Plan. The group is being co-chaired by the
    Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of Health and also
    includes representatives from a number of Government departments and key stakeholders.

    Sport forms a key part of the National Physical Activity Plan and a number of specific sport
    actions are included, but the Plan also considers other means of physical activity including
    recreational walking, active travel and physical education in schools. While the 2015 Irish
    Sports Monitor showed that 45% of adults regularly participate in sport, only 30.2% of these
    people are classed as highly active, meaning that they are meeting the recommended levels
    of physical activity. In developing the National Sports Policy Framework, consideration will
    be given to how the Government should best support further increased participation in
    recreational sport while taking account of the sport actions in the National Physical Activity
    Plan.

    It is vital that future sports policy takes account of the trends identified in the Irish Sports
    Monitor and other relevant research on participation rates. The National Sports Policy
    Framework will consider the trends across the different population groups and sports, the
    growth in participation in individual sports, the continuing popularity of recreational walking
    and other trends identified to set the future strategic direction for Sport Ireland in the area
    of participation.


    Questions for consideration
      Who should the Government target to increase participation levels in sport – e.g.
       get the inactive to start participating; get the active more active; or other targets?

      How can the reach and influence of the sports sector be used to get more people
       active, especially those who have been inactive for a long time?

      How should under-represented groups be targeted in order to narrow the existing
       gradients in participation levels across the lifecycle, in particular disability, gender
       and social gradients?

      What is the scope for collaboration between different sports to promote greater
       participation in sport at all levels?

      How can support for traditional sports and new emerging sports be balanced with
       increasing participation levels?

      Can the sports sector provide more support in the delivery of sport in schools?



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      How should the drop-off points in participation by children and young people be
       addressed?

      How should participation in sport be measured?

      How should investment in participation be measured?

      How can traditional and social media be more effective in promoting sport?

      How can the potential of new technology be maximised to increase participation
       in sport?

      Are there other challenges and issues that need to be addressed in this area?




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    5.       High Performance
    The last number of years have been very successful for Irish high performance sport with a
    wide range of achievements by Irish athletes and teams at national and international level.
    Our elite sportspeople have proven to be great ambassadors both at home and abroad and
    fantastic role models for young people. Their performances and achievements can inspire
    the next generation by encouraging sports participation at local level.

    The most recent example is the performance by Team Ireland at the 2016 Olympic and
    Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to 2 medals, the Olympic athletes achieved
    16 top ten and 14 top twenty finishes, compared to 14 and 6 respectively in the London
    2012 Games. Ireland’s Paralympic athletes won 11 medals at the Rio Games and achieved
    22 top eight finishes. A full list of achievements from Rio 2016 is shown at Appendix 2.

    Sport Ireland expenditure on High Performance Sport
    The table and graph below shows expenditure on High Performance by Sport Ireland
    (previously the Irish Sports Council) from 2006 to 2015.

                                     2006      2007      2008   2009   2010     2011    2012    2013     2014    2015
            Expenditure
                                     (€m)      (€m)      (€m)   (€m)   (€m)     (€m)    (€m)     (€m)    (€m)    (€m)
     High Performance †                8.5      11.7     14.8   11.7   11.7      12.3    11.7    11.5     12.9   11.7
     Total current
     expenditure                      40.9      54.0     57.2   51.7   49.6      46.8    44.5    43.4     43.2   44.3
     % of total current
     expenditure                      21%       22%      26%    23%    24%       26%     26%     26%      30%     26%
    †These figures do not include administration costs




    60.0


    50.0

    40.0                                                                      High Performance expenditure
                                                                              €m
    30.0                                                                      Total current expenditure on
                                                                              sport €m
    20.0


    10.0


     0.0
            2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

    A breakdown of the High Performance expenditure is included at Appendix 3.



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    High Performance structure
    Sport Ireland is responsible for the improvement of standards in high performance sport.
    With the establishment of Sport Ireland, all of the bodies connected with high performance
    sport (Irish Institute of Sport, Coaching Ireland and National Sports Campus) are now
    embedded in one entity. This presents a real opportunity to deliver a more enhanced and
    integrated programme of work in order to achieve greater and more sustained high
    performance success.

    The Olympic Council of Ireland and Paralympics Ireland are key stakeholders in Irish high
    performance sport. Sport Ireland had operational agreements in place with both
    organisations for the period 2013-2016. These agreements provide a framework for how
    the various interactions between the organisations worked up to and including the 2016 Rio
    Games.

    It is the aim of the high performance system to ensure that Ireland's performances in elite
    international sport improve and to create consistent success at elite level. This is defined as
    producing Irish athletes who can reach and compete in the finals at European, World,
    Olympic and Paralympic level.

    There are two specific funding programmes in place - the High Performance Programme and
    the International Carding Scheme, which is the system used by Sport Ireland to provide
    income support to elite athletes. In 2016, funding of almost €1.8 million has been provided
    to 86 athletes from 14 sports through the International Carding Scheme. A list of all athletes
    and teams receiving funding through the International Carding Scheme in 2016 is listed at
    Appendix 4.

    Performance Planning is the mechanism that Sport Ireland uses to invest in NGBs that have
    High Performance Plans. It enables Sport Ireland to determine the medal potential of
    individual sports and athletes. It provides the underpinning evidence which enables
    investment decisions to be made where resources are targeted at sports best placed to
    succeed at international level. It is the basis for the subsequent oversight of investment to
    ensure that a return on investment is delivered for public funds. Sport Ireland (and
    previously the Irish Sports Council) commissions a review of the high performance process
    following each four-year Olympic and Paralympic cycle and the Rio 2016 Review has now
    commenced.

    As well as the funding programmes, the Institute of Sport at the National Sports Campus
    provides support services directly to sports bodies, coaches and athletes, and athletes can
    also avail of the world-class training facilities at the National Sports Campus. The Institute
    of Sport was established following a key recommendation of the 2005 Athens Review (the
    review of the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2004), with a vision of providing



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    world leading service to elite Irish athletes. This includes sports science and medicine co-
    ordination, athlete career and performance lifestyle support, and elite coach development
    and education.

    The Institute’s Athlete Career Development Programme provides career management
    support to high performance athletes. This support typically involves athletes who are
    managing part time employment as well as a full career as a high performance athlete. It
    also provides preparation for a post-sport transition to the next career. This programme sits
    within the broader Athlete Lifestyle support provision which also encompasses support for
    athletes in education and development of personal life skills. The Career Development
    Programme has four specific strands that are offered to athletes during their competitive
    sport career and a holistic transition support at the point of retirement from sport.

    In developing the National Sports Policy Framework, a comprehensive review of the current
    high performance system will be carried out to find out if the system is working as
    effectively as possible and if there are areas that could be improved. The review will
    examine international high performance models and identify if there are best practice
    structures that could be applied to the Irish system.


    Questions for consideration
      What targets should be set for high performance sport e.g. number of medals
       won, podium finishes, impact on participation levels, others?
      What are the strengths of the current high performance structures i.e. talent
       identification and management process for elite athletes, supports for elite
       athletes during and post their sporting career etc., and how can these be further
       enhanced?
      Is the balance right as to the focus of Government spending on the various
       elements of high performance (carding scheme, coaching, NGBs, support services
       etc.)?
      Should the high performance structure be more centralised or be devolved to
       individual NGBs and how should the respective roles of the Department, Sport
       Ireland and NGBs be defined?
      What criteria should be applied when identifying what sports should qualify for
       High Performance support? Should the strategy be to fund a wide range of sports
       or focus on a smaller number of sports?
      What successful international high performance models could Ireland learn from?
      Are there other challenges and issues that need to be addressed in this area?




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    6.       Local and Regional Facilities
    Government investment in sports facilities, including indoor sports facilities, is provided
    primarily through the Sports Capital Programme (SCP) and the Local Authority Swimming
    Pool Programme (LASPP). The Sports Capital Programme is the Government’s primary
    vehicle for supporting the development of local and regional sports facilities and the
    purchase of sports equipment. The Programme aims to foster an integrated and planned
    approach to developing sports and physical recreation facilities throughout the country. In
    particular, its objectives are to:

            assist voluntary and community organisations, NGBs, local authorities, Education and
             Training Boards (ETBs) and schools to develop high quality, safe, well-designed,
             sustainable facilities in appropriate locations and to provide appropriate equipment
             to help maximise participation in sport and physical recreation
            prioritise the needs of disadvantaged areas in the provision of sports facilities
            encourage the multi-purpose use of local, regional and national sports facilities by
             clubs, community organisations and national governing bodies of sport

    Between 2011 and 2015, a total of almost €134 million was allocated1 under the Sports
    Capital Programme for sporting facilities with €31 million allocated in 2012, €40.5 million
    provided in 2014, and €41 million in 2015, and a further €21 million made through special
    allocations.

    These allocations have provided support for more than 2,600 projects nationally. The 2015
    programme allocations announced in October 2015 provided funding for more than 40
    sports. Almost €35 million was allocated for local projects while just over €6 million was
    allocated to non-local projects. The application and assessment process places an emphasis
    on rewarding clubs and organisations that share facilities as well as on applications received
    from disadvantaged areas. In 2015, €14.5 million was allocated to 305 projects that are
    located in or serve CLAR and RAPID areas.

    The 2017 Estimates Statement confirmed that a new round of the Sports Capital Programme
    will be open for applications in January 2017 with allocations expected later that year.

    Allocations by the Sports Capital Programme 2014-2015 by sport* are shown overleaf as a
    percentage of overall allocation. A full list of all allocations by sport is included in Appendix
    5.




    1
     These are allocations figures and differ from the payment figures in the Financing Irish Sport section as it can
    take grantees several years to draw down grants.



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    *Gaelic Games includes Gaelic football (men’s and ladies’), hurling, camogie and handball


    The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport also administers the Local Authority
    Swimming Pool Programme. Under the programme, grant aid to a maximum of €3.8 million
    is provided to local authorities towards the capital costs of the provision of new swimming
    pools or the refurbishment of existing pools. Since 2000, 50 projects have been completed.
    Since 2011, there have also been allocations to Local Authority pools for works to improve
    energy efficiency and disabled access.

    In developing the National Sports Policy Framework, consideration will be given to how
    future capital investment in sports facilities can best support both increased participation in
    sport and physical activity and support for elite athletes. There is a need to ensure that
    future provision of sports facilities avoids a duplication of services and that value for money
    is achieved. Issues that will be considered include maximising the use of facilities;
    addressing barriers to facility use and accessibility; the balance of funding between local and
    regional facilities; better linking programme and capital investment in sports facilities; and
    whether there is a need to subsidise the operation of certain publicly funded sports
    facilities.




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    Questions for consideration
      Are any of the terms and conditions of the Sports Capital Programme acting as
       barriers to facility development and/or to certain groups accessing funding?

      Are there ways to achieve a more joined-up approach to the provision of publicly
       funded sports facilities?

      How to address barriers to facility use in order to maximise usage, and how to
       ensure that sports facilities meet the highest accessibility standards for
       participants, spectators and workers?

      What should be the balance of funding between local and non-local sports
       facilities?

      What facilities can best drive increased participation and/or improved
       performance and what should be the balance of funding between
       facilities/equipment designed to increase participation and those aimed at
       improving performance?

      How to better link desired outcomes, current programmes and capital investment
       in sports facilities?

      Should some or all publicly funded sports facilities be self-financing or to what
       extent, if any, should the public sector become involved in subsidising the
       operation of these facilities?

      Should state funding be focused on multi-sport facilities and equipment that can
       support a large number of sports?

      Should state funding be concentrated on sports that can be participated in for life?

      How should the state best help in the provision of facilities/equipment for
       minority sports, emerging sports and participation outside of formal club
       structures?

      Are there other challenges and issues that need to be addressed in this area?




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    7.       National Sports Campus
    The National Sports Campus at Abbotstown, Blanchardstown is an important part of
    Ireland’s sporting infrastructure. There has been significant progress at the Campus in the
    last few years with the development of world-class training facilities where elite athletes
    can prepare for national and international competitions. Athletes have access to the
    services provided by the Institute of Sport and to a range of world-class facilities at the
    National Sports Campus. The development of facilities at the Campus is proceeding on an
    incremental basis as funding becomes available.

    Funding for the National Sports Campus 2006-2015

                                   2006    2007    2008   2009   2010   2011    2012     2013    2014    2015
              Funding
                                   (€m)     (€m)   (€m)   (€m)   (€m)   (€m)    (€m)      (€m)   (€m)    (€m)
     National Sports Campus          2.2     9.0    6.5    6.4    5.5    2.2      5.7      9.8     6.2   31.8




                            National Sports Campus Funding
    35.0

    30.0

    25.0

    20.0
                                                                               National Sports Campus
    15.0                                                                       Funding €m

    10.0

     5.0

     0.0
            2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015


    Development of National Sports Campus
    The concept of a National Sports Campus located at Abbotstown, Blanchardstown in Dublin
    first emerged in the 1999 PriceWaterhouseCooper feasibility study “A Stadium for a New
    Century”. In 2000 the then Government adopted the study and decided to proceed with the
    development of Sports Campus Ireland. At that time it was also decided to build the
    National Aquatic Centre (NAC) as the first element of the Campus. Campus and Stadium
    Ireland Development Limited (CSID) was established to progress the Campus Concept. The




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    NAC, the first element of the Campus, was completed on time and within budget and
    opened in March 2003.

    The then Government subsequently decided in January 2004 to proceed with the phased
    development of a National Sports Campus and CSID was requested to draw up a Phased
    Development Programme, associated business case and annual budgets sufficient to deliver
    the component elements of a National Sports Campus. After consultation with various
    sporting bodies and other stakeholders, CSID drew up a Development Control Plan in
    October 2004. The plan set out proposals for the phased development of the National
    Sports Campus and estimated the cost at €199 million including VAT. Following
    consideration of the Development Control Plan, the then Government decided in November
    2005 to proceed with the development of the initial phase of the Sports Campus over a five
    year period. Planning permission for the National Sports Campus was secured in 2009.

    The National Sports Campus Development Authority (NSCDA), formally established on 1
    January 2007, prepared revised delivery plans in 2010 that would enable the Project to be
    delivered on a phased basis. The revised plans involved an incremental development
    commencing with core indoor facilities at a cost of €40.6 million combined with a
    partnership approach to developing field sport facilities through the leasing of sites reserved
    on Campus for individual sports bodies. In June 2011, the then Government approved these
    proposals for the development of the National Sports Campus on an incremental basis.

    Current Facilities
    The following facilities are currently in place at the National Sports Campus:
        National Aquatic Centre
        National Horse Sport Arena
        National Modern Pentathlon Centre
        National Diving Training Centre
        High Performance Training Centre
        FAI National Training Centre
        GAA National Games Development Centre
        Multi-Sport Synthetic Pitch facility
        Two large multi-sport turf pitches accommodating Gaelic games, football and rugby

    Usage of these facilities varies, for example visitor numbers to the National Aquatic Centre
    in 2015 were 991,554 and the more recently developed National Horse Sport Arena
    recorded 209 bookings/events in 2015. More detail on usage of the National Sports Campus
    facilities is included at Appendix 6.




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    Significant Projects in the Pipeline
    Upcoming significant sports facility developments at the National Sports Campus are
    detailed in the table below2.

           Name                             Description                               Status
    National Indoor Arena –Phase 1          World-class indoor training facilities    Scheduled for completion
                                            for a wide range of sports including      in November 2016
                                            athletics, gymnastics, badminton,
                                            volleyball, table tennis, basketball,
                                            fencing and numerous others.

    IRFU Field Sport Facilities             Rugby pitch development                   Partnership Development
                                                                                      Agreements in place.
                                                                                      Commencement is linked
                                                                                      with National Indoor
                                                                                      Arena Phase 2 below.

    IHA Field Sport Facilities              Hockey pitch development                  Partnership Development
                                                                                      Agreements in place.

    National Indoor Arena – Phase           Covered Synthetic Pitch facility and      Planning permission
    2                                       ancillary facilities (such as changing    granted. Work on cost
                                            rooms) designed primarily for rugby,      benefit analysis etc. is on-
                                            soccer and GAA, but capable of            going.
                                            accommodating all field sports.

    National Badminton and                  Training facilities for badminton and     Planning permission
    Velodrome Training Centre               cycling, comprising a 250m cycling        granted.
                                            track and 12 badminton courts.

    High Performance Cricket                High Performance training facility     Funding provided by the
    Facility                                including 14 grass nets, 90m outfield, International Cricket
                                            artificial practice area and seating   Council and private donor.
                                                                                   Ministerial approval
                                                                                   granted. Work on the
                                                                                   new facility is expected to
                                                                                   start, subject to the
                                                                                   necessary planning
                                                                                   permission, in early 2017.




    2
     The table addresses the more significant sports facility projects proposed. In terms of minor projects, work
    on a National Cross Country Track and Jogging Trail were also completed in 2016.



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    While no formal proposal has yet been received in the Department, it is understood that
    there is an intention also to propose the development of elite athlete accommodation at
    the Campus. Various options and funding possibilities have been mentioned, from the
    option of refurbishing existing buildings on the Campus site to cater for elite athletes only,
    to the option of constructing a high standard commercial hotel, using private investment,
    which would also cater for paying guests.

    Reviews
    There have been two key reviews of the overall Campus project at 5-year intervals in the
    past, leading to approval by Government of the phased development of the project. Now
    that the phased delivery plan as approved by Government in 2011 is nearing completion, it
    seems timely to conduct another review to determine the further strategic direction for the
    Campus project.

    Operation and management of the National Sports Campus
    A subsidiary of Sport Ireland – NSCDA (Operations) Limited – is responsible for the day-to-
    day management and operation of the National Sports Campus sporting facilities. It also
    provides building management services for the office accommodation provided to NGBs on
    Campus. In addition, the company took over responsibility in 2010 for the day-to-day
    operation of Morton Stadium, the National Athletics Stadium in Santry.

    An assessment of the operation of the National Sports Campus in terms of its focus and
    objectives will be important to determine whether the main focus should be on facilities for
    high performance sport and supporting our elite athletes, or on increasing participation in
    sport by the general/local population, or as to whether a balance between both objectives
    would be most appropriate. A decision on this would present a vision and focus for the
    future, and would also be closely connected with the potential financing model choices
    available for the Campus.

    The development of the National Sports Campus not only constitutes a capital expense, it
    also involves significant ongoing costs for the maintenance and operation of Campus
    facilities. NSCDA (Operations) Ltd. receives, through Sport Ireland, an annual operational
    subsidy towards costs associated with the operation of the National Aquatic Centre and
    other Campus facilities. The subsidy provided in 2015 was €1.2 million. While the experience
    internationally of similar facilities shows that subsidising by a public authority can generally
    be regarded as the norm, it must be considered that the level of subsidy could potentially be
    offset by focusing on the revenue which could be generated by the facilities, in particular
    from such areas as Aquazone admittance fees for families, gym memberships etc. Greater
    clarity on the strategic vision for the National Sports Campus, including the desired focus on
    elite usage versus participation, or a mix, will be key also to help determine the desired
    balance as between revenue generation and subsidy.



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    Campus as the Home of Irish Sport
    The National Sports Campus is widely regarded as the home of Irish Sport Administration.
    Sports HQ is home to 20 National Governing Bodies including the FAI. Sport Ireland will
    move its offices to the National Sports Campus, and a HQ for Special Olympics Ireland was
    officially opened in November 2016. Further additional HQ accommodation for other NGBs
    is also planned. The Campus Pavilion Building opened in September 2015 and provides
    meeting and conference facilities for all NGBs of sport.

    Vision for the Future
    As it has been five years since the 2011 Government Decision regarding the development
    and implementation plan for the National Sports Campus, the National Sports Policy
    Framework provides an opportunity to settle a clear vision and underpin a new strategic
    decision by Government on the future development of Campus. This will include
    considering what the future vision for the Campus should be in terms of whether its primary
    focus should be as a high performance facility for elite sport, towards increasing
    participation, or finding a viable mix of both that can be accommodated. Consideration will
    also be given to opportunities provided by different financing models, consistent with the
    chosen vision, and to the appropriate balance to be struck between revenue generation and
    subsidisation of the various facilities. Against that backdrop, the National Sports Policy
    Framework will reflect on the priorities for the National Sports Campus over the medium
    term.


    Questions for consideration
      What are the views of stakeholders on existing facilities at the National Sports
       Campus and their usage? What are the success stories? Are there areas for
       improvement?

      What are the views of stakeholders on an overall vision for the Campus and where
       its primary focus should be, in terms of supporting high performance or increasing
       participation or is there a viable balance that can be met and what might that be?

      What should be the priorities for the National Sports Campus over the medium
       term?

      What different models should be considered for financing of Campus facilities, for
       example Exchequer funding, borrowings, philanthropy, private sector investment,
       sponsorship etc.? What steps might be needed to ensure the appropriate balance
       as between sports policy objectives and financing objectives?




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      Are there views on the most appropriate model for the development of specific
       projects already proposed or anticipated to be proposed (e.g. National Badminton
       and Velodrome Training Centre, Athlete Accommodation) and financing for same?

      Should there be a stronger focus towards generating revenue from the various
       facilities at Campus in order to cover costs and thereby reduce the overall
       requirement for subsidy? Are there views on appropriate access/pricing strategies
       for the various facilities?

      Are there other gaps, challenges or issues that need to be addressed in this area?




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    8.       Governance
    It is vital that the highest standards of governance are in place across all levels of Irish sport
    to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency across organisational activities and
    support the integrity of sport both at home and abroad. The implementation of good
    governance practices in sport has improved significantly in recent years. Sport Ireland has
    worked closely with NGBs to provide supports and services with a focus on improving
    governance within sports bodies, including support for strategic planning, internal audit and
    financial management. There is an established procedure in place for Sport Ireland to
    provide support to any particular governing body that encounters difficulties.

    Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
    The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has published a ‘Corporate Governance
    Standard for the Civil Service’8 which details the core principles to which Government
    Departments and bodies under their aegis adhere. The implementation of the Standard
    across the Civil Service presents an opportunity to formally define current arrangements
    and seek to strengthen governance across Departments. It is being implemented as a key
    part of Civil Service Renewal. In line with this standard, the Department of Transport,
    Tourism and Sport published a Corporate Governance Framework9 in April 2016 which sets
    out a comprehensive overview of the corporate governance arrangements that exist and
    operate within the Department. The framework also provides an overview of the approach
    applied in the external governance and oversight of the agencies under the aegis of the
    Department including Sport Ireland.

    The Department is responsible for the corporate governance of Sport Ireland, and liaises on
    an on-going basis with Sport Ireland regarding implementation of its strategy, financial
    controls and work programme priorities. The development of the National Sports Policy
    Framework provides an opportunity to consider options for oversight of Sport Ireland, as
    the State Agency responsible for the delivery of sport policy. This may include options such
    as regular reviews of performance, how Sport Ireland manages its relationship with its many
    key stakeholders and a standardised approach to budget approval and business planning.

    Sport Ireland
    As a State Body, Sport Ireland must comply fully with the provisions of the Sport Ireland Act
    2015 and with the requirements of the 2009 Department of Finance Code of Practice for the
    Governance of State Bodies10, in particular in meeting its statutory obligations and
    performance targets. Sport Ireland is also required to ensure all the necessary frameworks,
    including: those for risk management, internal audit and the Public Spending Code11 are
    fully complied with and that all of its committees conform to the highest standards of
    corporate governance.




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