Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish Sports Council announce athlete funding for 2012...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Irish Sports Council announce athlete funding for 2012...

The Irish Sports Council have announced their funding grants for Irish athletes in 2012....

€40,000 – Podium: Olive Loughnane, Derval O'Rourke, Robert Heffernan, David Gillick

€20,000 - World Class: Ciaran O'Lionard, Deirdre Ryan, Fionnuala Britton, Paul Hession

€12,000 - International: Alistair Cragg, Stephanie Reilly, Linda Byrne, Mark Kenneally, Brendan Boyce, Joe Sweeney, Ciara Mageean, Joanne Cuddihy, Ava Hutchison

Ailis McSweeney, Thomas Chamney, Mary Cullen, Kelly Proper, Colin Griffin and David Campbell all lost theirs grants, though the first three could be restored quickly if they pass upcoming medicals.

It looks however as if these grants will be most likely be cut in future years once the London Olympics are over. The chairman of the Irish Sports Council John Treacy said his organisation is expecting a 5 per cent cut in funding next year and it may also be hit with a further five per cent cut the following year. This follows a series of cuts to the overall sports budget. 

It might be worth pointing out that many of those listed above are not full time athletes. Besides trying to train as if they were full time athletes, they have jobs as well. In that context, the grants are welcome but by no means huge. And of course, the more successful an athlete is, the more they get. Fionnuala Britton moved up to €20,000 after her Eurpean Cross Country win last December. Mark Kenneally and Linda Byrne get grants after running qualifying time for the Olympic Marathon.

The most recent person to qualify was Ava Hutchinson when she ran 2:35:33 in Houston, Texas last January. Not only did that qualify her for the Olympics and a €12,000 grant but she also won $4,000 by finishing 4th in the race. Often a little success can make things so much easier. Not mentioned above of course are those who have been trying hard but are just on the other side of the line. Those that get no grants. There was article recently in the Irish Independent titled 'It can be a dark place at times' which gives an idea of what it might be like for those just out of the limelight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yet again, the facts in this article show the totally underfunded and ridiculous nature of grants for Irish athletics and international athletes.
Athletes are waiting on and relying on a good performance season to season to secure their future as full time athletes.
Without year to to year continuity, many of these athletes cannot reach their full potential, to train as full time athletes, realise their potential and ultimately qualify and win international championships.
It is a shame the development of Irish athletics at an world class level is being curtailed by such small funding, where other major field sports and athletes get so much more, to aid their development at national and international championships.