Tom Hayes TD, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee overseeing sport, has stressed the importance of Government investment in sports programmes in the wake of Ireland’s recent success at London 2012. This year was the country’s most successful Olympics since 1956 and saw Katie Taylor claim a gold medal in boxing.
“This summer has been an incredibly successful period for Irish sport. Our tally of 5 medals at London 2012 surpassed most people’s expectations and saw us pick up our first gold in 16 years. What’s important is that we don’t become complacent in the wake of this success.
“It is crucial that we continue to invest in sports and that we aim to increase participation across the board. This Government is pursuing two avenues in that regard. The first will be the next phase of the Sports Capital Programme that is to be announced shortly. This programme will see funding from the National Lottery being provided to local sporting organisations to develop sports and physical recreation facilities in local communities.
“In an effort to try and get more children involved in sport at an early age, the Minister for Education & Skills has already announced that Physical Education is to be included in the list of possible subjects in the Junior Certificate curriculum. The Minister is also considering whether or not this should be extended to Leaving Certificate students also.
“Both of these initiatives will do a lot for Irish sport, but it is also important to have local success stories and role models for children to look up to. Despite this year’s disappointment on the hurling field there are still some sporting positives for Tipperary. In particular I’d like to wish both 11 year old Josh Schubert and 10 year old Adam Dunne the best of luck as they represent Tipperary in the Irish Youth Soccer Squad for children with Type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Junior World Cup is taking place in Switzerland this week and I have no doubt that they will do their county proud,” Tom Hayes said.