Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD and Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Michael Ring TD have announced an investment package of almost €1.5 million in Dormant Accounts Funding for Sport.
The investment will be administered by Sport Ireland and will aim to engage with communities across the country, targeting people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged and disadvantaged communities.
Minister O’Donovan said: “I am delighted to be able to announce almost €1.5 million funding for sports measures received through the Dormant Accounts Fund this year. This funding will be granted in addition to my Department’s funding of €47.3 million to Sport Ireland in 2016. Sport is vital for the growth of community and social cohesiveness in disadvantaged areas, and investment in the young people in these areas has long-term benefits both for their health and for their engagement in society. My Department is working together with Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships to ensure that the programme of initiatives resulting from this funding is inclusive, accessible and regionally balanced.”
Minister Ring said: “I am well aware of the impact that sports initiatives can have in both urban and rural communities, and so I am very happy to give my approval to this significant investment package. The investment not only means that successful programmes implemented by Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships in 2015 can be continued, it also allows for new initiatives and investment in disadvantaged communities. The programmes which will be implemented as a result of this funding will contribute significantly to the health and well-being of individuals and communities at a local level around the country.”
Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of Sport Ireland said: “The aim of the Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs is to bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and sports organisations. Supported by Sport Ireland’s network of Local Sports Partnerships, these hubs will provide information, support and advice on a wide range of sports and physical activities and make it easier for people to get involved and engage in a more active and healthier lifestyle”.
Highlighting the National Sports Education and Training Hub, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland commented: “In line with the Government’s ‘Pathways to Work’ Policy, Sport Ireland is seeking to empower individuals at local and national level by providing a clear education pathway for those interested in working in sports development. In particular Sport Ireland envisages an activation of jobseekers to promote greater levels of physical activity in disadvantaged areas”.
Programmes supported under the investment include Community Coaching, Youth Leadership and Volunteer Support Programmes, as well as Community Sports Hubs (where the focus is to provide advice, support and information on sports and physical activities available locally, making it easier for people to get involved).
Breakdown of funding
Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs in disadvantaged areas
– €385,392 allocated for the 9 Community Sport Hubs which were established last year through the Local Sports Partnerships under Dormant Accounts Funding.
National Sport Education and Training Hub
– €265,000 allocated to 17 Local Sports Partnerships to deliver 20 Community Coaching courses for jobseekers.
– €200,000 allocated to the Cara Adapted Physical Activity Centre within the Institute of Technology Tralee to further support the delivery of specialised disability training courses
– €175,000 allocated to 20 Local Sports Partnerships for 70 Youth Leadership courses.
– €25,000 allocated directly to Sport Ireland for a Volunteer Support programme.
Sport Ireland will carry out a national evaluation of the various sports programmes delivered under Dormant Accounts Funding.
Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs
In 2015, €385,392 in Dormant Accounts Funding was allocated to Sport Ireland to establish Community Sports and Physical Activity Hubs (CSPAH). The objective of the CSPAHs is to bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and sports organisations.
The Hubs provide information, support and advice on a wide range of sports and physical activities to make it easier for people in disadvantaged areas to get involved and engage in a more active and healthier lifestyle. In 2015, applications to establish and develop the CSPAHs were sought from Local Sports Partnerships in a competitive bid process under three theme areas: Community Setting, School Based Setting and an Outdoor Setting. A total of 9 successful Hubs were awarded Dormant Accounts Funding in 2015. This year Dormant Accounts Funding will be provided to the 9 Hubs to further deliver the programmes.
This is year two of the Community Coaching programme following the successful rollout of the pilot programme in 2015 under Dormant Accounts Funding. Funding of €265,000 was dedicated to this programme in 2016. The programme focuses on assisting unemployed people to gain employment, coaching, volunteering and further education opportunities in the sports sector as coaches, referees, physical activity leaders etc. It provides participants with practical and theoretical sport-related skills and help them find relevant work experience in their local community. It also contributes to the promotion of both physical and mental health amongst participants and in the community through the subsequent employment and/or volunteering work carried out by participants. Sport Ireland will administer this sports measure and has approved 20 course applications from 17 Local Sports Partnerships.
Further Strengthen the Existing Sports Disability Training Framework (Cara Centre)
Dormant Accounts Funding of €200,000 will be allocated to support the further development and delivery of specialised disability training courses through the Cara Centre within the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT). In 2016 the focus of the funding proposal is to make an impact across the areas of development to enhance active and healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities and includes the following:
Ø Disability Awareness in Sport Training
Ø Enhance Community provision through providing support and coordination of the Local Sports Partnership Sports Inclusion Disability Programme (SIDP)
Ø Disability Inclusion Training
Ø Fitness Inclusive Training and Universal Fitness Inclusive Programme
Ø Inclusive Coaching Training
Ø Inclusive Adventure Training
Approximately 2,600 individuals will undergo training through a projected 121 courses, ranging from disability awareness training through to the piloted adapted adventure training. Four National Governing Bodies of sport will pilot the Universal Management Framework.
This is year two of the Youth Leadership programme following the successful rollout of the pilot programme in 2015 under Dormant Accounts Funding. €175,000 of Dormant Account Funding was allocated to this programme last year. Phase two of the programme will support the continued expansion and delivery of the Level 1 Award in Sports Leadership, providing a stepping stone for learners into employment and also into further education or training. The programme will continue to develop generic leadership skills that can be applied to a variety of sports and/or recreational situations as well as contributing to the personal development of the learner.
It will also continue to develop trained volunteers who can assist with the delivery of sport and recreation initiatives within their community. The initiative will provide training for young people, keeping them engaged, increasing their responsibility and developing their confidence and self-esteem and will provide an opportunity for lifelong volunteering. The programme also has the potential to impact on both early school dropout in disadvantaged areas and dropout rates from sport within the targeted age group, with many Local Sports Partnerships linking the programme closely to local school completion programmes in their areas. Sport Ireland will deliver a second round of programme delivery through the Local Sports Partnership network in 2016 and has approved 70 course applications from 20 LSPs, targeting in excess of 1,750 participants.
Volunteer Support Programme
There is a significant need and demand within national governing bodies of sport for volunteer learning and development support. Assistance for this particular demographic will result in enhanced skills for the volunteers, improvements in their ability to secure employment and increased likelihood in their retention as active participants in sports and physical activity. The funding will be used to support career development for this demographic through up skilling and other professional supports. Sport Ireland will look to work with national partners to further develop a bespoke programme focused on supporting volunteers.
Dormant Accounts Funding
The Dormant Accounts Act 2001 together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012 provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.
Dormant funds/unclaimed life assurance policies, which have not been reclaimed by the original account/policy holder or their beneficiaries, are transferred each year by the financial institution/insurance undertaking to the Dormant Accounts Fund which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).
The legislation provides for a scheme for the disbursement of funds that are unlikely to be reclaimed. In each year monies may be disbursed in accordance with Part 6 of the 2012 Act, from the Account, but only for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:
- the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;
- the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged or
- persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).
The 2016 Dormant Accounts Action Plan approved in April 2016 includes a number of sports measures. Responsibility for the Dormant Accounts Fund has transferred from the former Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to the new Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.