National Sports Policy Framework Public Consultation Paper
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 1 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
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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 2 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 3 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 4 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 5 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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 6 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com or by contacting Ms Rosalie Quinsey at 01-6041237.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 7 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 8 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 9 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. Expenditure 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 (€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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 10 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. 0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Participation Expenditure €m Total current expenditure on sport €m
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 11 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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 12 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,
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 13 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?
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 14 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?
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 15 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. Expenditure 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 (€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 A breakdown of the High Performance expenditure is included at Appendix 3.
0.0 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 High Performance expenditure €m Total current expenditure on sport €m
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 16 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
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 17 world leading service to elite Irish athletes.
This includes sports science and medicine coordination, 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?
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 18 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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 19 *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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 20 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?
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 21 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 Funding 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 (€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 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 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 National Sports Campus Funding National Sports Campus Funding €m
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 22 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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 23 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 for a wide range of sports including athletics, gymnastics, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, fencing and numerous others. Scheduled for completion in November 2016 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 2 Covered Synthetic Pitch facility and ancillary facilities (such as changing rooms) designed primarily for rugby, soccer and GAA, but capable of accommodating all field sports. Planning permission granted. Work on cost benefit analysis etc. is ongoing. National Badminton and Velodrome Training Centre Training facilities for badminton and cycling, comprising a 250m cycling track and 12 badminton courts.
Planning permission granted.
High Performance Cricket Facility High Performance training facility including 14 grass nets, 90m outfield, artificial practice area and seating Funding provided by the International Cricket 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.
Consultation on National Sports Policy Framework Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport Page 24 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-today 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.