Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland plans, leads and co-ordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland. Sport Ireland has recognised that Local Sports Partnerships are an excellent mechanism for delivering recreational sport to local people.

Sport Ireland

Key tasks that the partnerships are involved in include:

  • The creation and implementation of plans for long term local sports development
  • The establishment of a sustainable structure to assist all those involved in local sports development to face the associated challenges, e.g. recruiting and managing volunteers, quality training, governance, etc.
  • Delivery of projects and programmes particularly for target groups and establishing networks at local level and liaising with existing initiatives

Functions of the Local Sport Partnerships

The three main functions of the LSPs are: -


Establish a consultative forum, initiate research, compile a sports directory and database, and identify needs and resources to form the basis of local planning


Provide quality opportunities for education and training at local level, provide training courses targeting volunteers, and provide access to sport specific courses through the national governing bodies (NGBs) of sport


Develop a strategic plan for local sport, appoint a professional administrator, secure related support services, select participation programmes for LSPs modified to suit local needs, increase the impact of national programmes delivered locally, market and promote sport

Assistance to Local Sport Partnerships

Sport Ireland’s Participation Unit provide a full support service to the LSP with staff from the Unit facilitating the initial establishment of the LSP. The Unit provides advice and guidance on the strategic planning process which each LSP will undertake.

The Participation Unit aims to establish a good working relationship with the Coordinators, and to provide them with training and information updates. A Coordinators network is in place so that information on best practice can be made available to all Coordinators.

Sport Ireland is also involved in the development and dissemination of specific programmes, course and materials to the LSPs.

 Two types of grant aid are offered to the LSPs

Core funding

This funding is towards the cost of employing LSP staff, developing the partnerships and innovative local initiatives

Programme funding

This funding is towards specific, high priority, targeted initiatives identified and promoted by the LSP.

A key recommendation in the Fitzpatrick Report has that from 2009, each LSP must generate 50% of its operating costs locally.  Accounting for this funding will be subject to the terms and conditions relating to the allocation of the grant aid.