Triathlon Ireland’s success in increasing female participation has been recognised with a substantial increase in funding from Sport Ireland.
The state organisation has more than tripled its commitment to Triathlon Ireland’s Women in Sport initiative and for the first time ever, it has also pledged multi-annual funding for the programme.
The ‘Equally Inspiring’ programme, devised and implemented under the leadership of Triathlon Ireland staff member Anna Grealish, is now in its third year and has set ambitious goals to increase female participation in the sport of triathlon.
The programme has been enormously successful, exceeding its targets for female membership 18 months ahead of schedule; and integrating female participation in to all areas of Triathlon Ireland’s strategic plan.
At 36 per cent, Triathlon Ireland has one of the highest female participation rates of any sport in Ireland. At the 2019 Triathlon Ireland AGM, members voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures to increase the number of female Board members, while internationally, Triathlon Ireland has been a leading figure in the promotion of gender equality measures within the European Triathlon Union and International Triathlon Union.
The increase in support for the ‘Equally Inspiring’ programme followed a comprehensive review by Sport Ireland in line with the government’s National Sports Policy, and Sport Ireland’s own Women in Sport Strategy.
Following the review, Sport Ireland increased Triathlon Ireland’s women in sport funding from €15,000 per annum to €50,000 for each year in 2019 and 2020.
Funding had been €15,000 since 2016 and over this time Triathlon Ireland had invested a significant sum of its own funds to support staff and programme costs.
The increase will allow the organisation do even more work towards making one of the country’s most female friendly sports, according to Chris Kitchen, CEO of Triathlon Ireland:
“We have had a fantastic increase in female participation and membership over the last couple of years with a targeted programme to encourage more women into triathlon. This has been especially so at junior level where the balance is virtually 50/50 male/female. I want to thank Sport Ireland for the vote of confidence in our programme with the very welcome increase in our Women in Sport Funding.”
Mr Kitchen added, “This increase will mean that we can accelerate our plans for greater female participation across all areas. Triathlon Ireland has a passionate dedicated staff team which in itself is over 50% female, keen on driving the sport forward and in particular this agenda.”
Triathlon Ireland’s Women in Sport Lead, Anna Grealish says Triathlon Ireland’s aim is to integrate female participation in to the very fabric of the sport.
“Our vision for the next 18 months is to improve all areas of our sport for our female members. It’s not just focusing on participation in triathlon events, we want to increase the numbers of women involved in coaching, officiating and especially in leadership roles within clubs across the country,’ she said.
‘Our aim is to help create role models for women and girls who aspire to do more within the sport of triathlon,’ she added.
About Triathlon Ireland
Triathlon Ireland is the National Governing Body for one of Ireland’s most dynamic and inclusive sports. Since the first triathlon event was held in north Co. Dublin in the early 1980s, the sport of triathlon has experienced unprecedented growth to the extent that Ireland now ranks fifth in the world for participation rates in triathlon per head of capita.
From its roots as a sport for the ultra-fit, triathlon has become a mass participation activity for all ages and abilities. Triathlon Ireland is proud of its reputation as one of Ireland’s best run sporting organisations and a leader in the field of good governance.