NI Sports Forum welcomes £15m Covid Relief Funding for the Sports Sector

The Northern Ireland Sports Forum welcomes today’s announcement that the NI Executive has committed £15m for sports organisations which have lost income as a result of reduced spectators at their events, club membership and running competitions.

Following the announcement, NI Sports Forum Executive Manager Ciaran Kearney stated:

“The impact of COVID-19 on the sporting sector cannot be understated and sports organisations of all sizes have worried about their sustainability and this allocation of £15m will provide a great level of security for our members and their clubs.

Our members and their clubs have shown outstanding leadership throughout this pandemic by supporting their local communities whilst facing their own challenges and we are pleased that this has also been recognised by the NI Executive.

We thank the NI Executive for this allocation and the support of the officials at the Department for Communities and Sport NI. We look forward to ongoing engagement with DfC and Sport NI on the development of the funding scheme and the application process.” 

Announcing the Covid Relief Funding Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín 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 6 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.”

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