€7m investment in sports to help get children active
The State is to pour more than €7m into the country's three biggest sports in an effort to get young children active this summer.
The financial windfall, provided through the Irish Sports Council, will be shared among the GAA, the IRFU and the FAI.
The aim of the investment is to help develop the games at grassroots level in sports camps and other programmes around the country throughout 2014.
The money is broken down into two separate categories – youth-field investment and women-in-sport investment.
The FAI has pocketed €2,707,910, with almost all of this going towards youth-field investment. Just €142,500 will go towards developing women playing soccer this year.
The GAA was awarded €2,409,653. However, no money will go towards developing women in GAA as the Ladies Gaelic Football Association is specifically set up to promote this. The IRFU landed €2,364,843, with €114,000 of this going to women in sport.
The money is for coach development, club support, under-age programmes, volunteer support programmes, community schemes, referee development and at-risk communities.
The Irish Sports Council predicts that more than 700,000 participants from 4,784 FAI, GAA and IRFU clubs will take part in programmes this year.
"These programmes are based on a shared ethos of developing the grassroots of the games, growing participation numbers and targeting communities outside of the traditional base of the sport," Sports Council chairman Kieran Mulvey said at the announcement.
Announcing the investment, Sport Minister Michael Ring said the funding would "ensure the long-term sustainable development of the three sports".