Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín today announced a fund of £15 Million to help the sports sector deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The restrictions imposed on the sector so far have impacted widely on the ability of sports organisations and clubs to generate income through the normal means such as club membership, running competitions, having spectators at their events and through sponsorship arrangements.
The Minister said: “I am delighted to be able to announce that £15 Million has been secured to help sustain the sports sector. The funding will go some way to make up for the income the sector has lost over the past six months and will also help to secure the future for Governing Bodies and clubs who have been hit hard by the Covid restrictions since March and will continue to feel the impact in the coming months.
“It is clear that we will all have to play our part in protecting the vulnerable, the health service and each other as we learn to live with the virus. This support is therefore vital for the time ahead and I am determined to get the funding issued at the earliest opportunity.”
The Minister continued: “The sports sector has been at the forefront of the Covid relief effort since March and continues to provide support in terms of both the physical and mental wellbeing of our communities. Research has shown how important society here views sport, whether that be from participating in it or spectating. It is right that the Executive has recognised this and that we provide much needed financial support to the Governing Bodies and the clubs to ensure that they can come through this difficult period and be there for their communities, volunteers, participants and spectators.”
Officials from the Department for Communities and Sport NI will continue to engage with the Governing Bodies as work moves forward on the development of the funding scheme and the application process. Further details will be announced in the time ahead.