Elite stars in funding boost
IRELAND'S elite sports stars and 2012 Olympic hopefuls got a badly-needed pre-Christmas boost yesterday when the Irish Sports Council (ISC) revealed that there will be no cuts to their individual grants for 2011, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
The Government's austerity measures recently slashed €2.7m off the ISC's budget for 2011, creating fears that the individual grant scheme (known as 'international carding') would be one of the first casualties, especially at the top end.
But the three existing levels of grants -- €40,000 for 'contracted' athletes, €20,000 for 'world class' and €12,000 for 'international class' -- are to be maintained for the coming year, which is particularly good news considering that the London Olympics are now less than two years away.
Derval O'Rourke, David Gillick, Jason Smyth, Katie Taylor, Kenneth Egan and many more of Ireland's top amateur boxers got the top level of support last year in a scheme that gave out over €2.6m to 110 athletes in 20 different sports, plus additional grants for junior and development programmes.