December 2, 2012 by David Miller
The Government has today announced grants of €25,894,322 under the Sports Capital Grant Scheme.
c.€929,000 has been granted to sports clubs in Co Wicklow.
That’s c.2.6% of the overall grant allocation.
Co Wicklow Rooted to Bottom of National Per Capita League Table
Interestingly (and disappointingly), Co Wicklow has the lowest of ALL the counties per capita average Sports Capital Grant funding for the period 1998-2011 (though the years 2009-2011 effectively saw the programme frozen bar payments to national bodies, with some exceptions). If it could be argued that the County possesses the highest standard of cross-county sporting facilities in the country then you could perhaps see why this would relegate County Wicklow to the bottom of the table. But: do we honestly believe that Co Wicklow has the best sporting facilities in the country?
Side-note: to be fair, in 2012, Co Wickow would be in the top 25% or so for County recipient funding, so perhaps that tide is turning?
Varying Grant Levels
Congratulations to the success of all sports grantees’ success in Co Wicklow. As a primarily soccer fan, I see that a relatively low % of all the funding in Co Wicklow went to uniquely soccer based organisations – though this % (and the underlying figures therefore probably don’t tell the full story e.g. “Bray Town Council, Ballywaltrim, €190k” – which would increase the proportion to c.22% if that’s the case) may well be significantly higher when you take into account the use by soccer clubs of a large element of cross-over benefit from soccer clubs playing in community based facilities (disclosure: I’m the Secretary of a soccer club who made an unsuccessful application to the scheme).
Given that Soccer is one of the largest youth participation sports (alongside rugby and GAA), this – arguably – seems a bit on the low side. Perhaps however this figure balances out on a nationwide average when spread out over all grants across the country; or indeed historically since the advent of the Sports Capital Grant Scheme in 1998? An interesting future exercise to carry out would be to make this calculation.
Best of luck to all sports organisations fortunate to receive the grant: and congratulations to the users who’ll get to enjoy the fabulously improved facilities! The breadth of sporting bodies benefitting from the SCGS is an excellent illustration of the potential impact of the taxpayers’ funded money on community activities. In particular the Grant Scheme operators should be congratulated on the encouragement of boxing (whose historically poor facilities were given excellent coverage by the tales of lack of basic facilities where Katie Taylor amongst others trained), archery, sports for the intellectually disabled and those working in the area of rehabilitation from addictions.
Back of the envelope ratios of funding: sports
Back of the envelope rough calculations show an approximate breakdown between various sports as follows. To get a better understanding of the relative proportionality of these grant figures per sport, these figures would need to be taken in the context of cumulative sporting funding grants for the 1998-2011 period (figures I don’t have to hand). Caveat on the figures is that the use by sports of Town Council or other community development owned grants are not highlighted in the published figures.
|Sport||Cumulative Grant Total||Cumulative %|
|Town Council & Parks||€190,000||20.5%|
|Intellectual Disability Sport||€25,000||2.6%|
|Other (including combined sports facilities)||€20,000