Sport Ireland made this week an exciting announcement to enhance women’s sports in the country. During the speech at the Sport Ireland Campus situated in Blanchardstown, they made the details public of an investment which will stretch over a couple of years to invest the total of €3 million in the re-launch of the Women in Sport Programme. This money will be spent on the improvement of national governing bodies of female sports.
Ireland’s Newly Released Policy on Women in Sport
Earlier this year Sport Ireland already invested Women in Sport valued at €265 000. This is in line with the Women in Sport Policy which was published earlier on in the year, stating that national governing bodies promoting active participation, coaching and officiating, leadership, governance and visibility are urged to apply for funding to be able to expand on these key areas within female sports.
Brendan Griffin, the Irish Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, stated that they aim to increase the participating numbers of girls and women in the world of sports and through that to reduce the difference in the involvement between men and women. This is something which they have already improved to a point where currently the gender gradient is now at 4.5%, which is substantially lower than at any other time over the past decade. This gradient stood at 15.7% in 2007.
Giving Recognition to Inspirational Women
They also want to give extra recognition to women who are excelling in sports and are seen as encouragement and inspiration for young girls. These women have a vital role to play in the lives of young female sports stars. In line with this, Nora Stapleton, the former international rugby player for Ireland, was elected into the position of Women in Sport Lead. In this position, Stapleton will be able to provide support to all the bodies which are receiving funding in the Women in Sports programmes, according to Dr Una May, the Director of Participation and Ethics for Sport Ireland.
The Distribution of Funding
During the announcement, a complete breakdown of how the funding will be distributed was also provided. The organization which was at the top of the list to receive the most significant contribution was the IRFU, with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, shortly listed behind it. A total of 40 bodies will benefit from the funding. Further organizations included in the list are Cycling Ireland, Irish Sailing, Motorsport Ireland, Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the Paralympics Ireland & CARA.
The Future of Women’s Sports in Ireland
National Governing Bodies welcomed projects which focus on developing various areas in the world of sports. From creating opportunities for officiating and coaching to developing leadership skills and opportunities. Because a holistic approach is taken to improve the situation of women in sports, Sport Ireland is convinced that the program will have a positive effect on all levels of women’s game.