The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for the sports sector, the Sport Sustainability Fund Programme was launched to help mitigate against the net losses that the sector has suffered. The value of sport is never more important for us all as a society, as we tentatively emerge from COVID 19. The sports sector has played an invaluable role in supporting our communities through this pandemic, and this funding is critical to sustain and empower the survival of Governing Bodies and clubs to get us all back to sport. The Sports Sustainability Fund will therefore play a crucial role in supporting a range of sports to emerge from Covid 19.



Sports Sustainability Funding has been issued via letters of offer to date, providing the following headline data:

  • Sport NI has issued Sports Sustainability Fund letters of offer to 30 sports to date (from 37 applications that evidenced financial need).
  • 78% of the Sports Sustainability letters of offer to date have been issued to grassroots sports clubs and affiliated entities to a total of £17.6m;
  • 412 grassroots sports clubs have had funding confirmed through Sports Sustainability Funding to date;
  • Just over £5m has been issued to 19 governing bodies of sport;
  • The average approved club award (to date) is £42,705 (n=412);
  • 86% of applicants requested <£60,000;
  • The difference between requested amount and approved award is reflective of the robust vouching and verification process used by Sport NI during the assessment of applications.



Applications were subjected to a rigorous assessment of evidence financial need and the assessment methodology was applied consistently throughout, the application process was transparent, equitable, evidence based and specific to Covid 19 related losses. The Sport Sustainability Fund core principles of integrity, accountability, transparency, has been applied rigorously, fair and consistently to all applications. The Sports Sustainability Fund criteria were developed by Sport NI, and agreed with the Department for Communities through a co-design process.

The Sports Sustainability Fund was based on evidenced net losses of governing bodies of sport and their affiliated sports clubs/entities and did not take account of ‘reserves’ as this may have included non-cash assets that could not be readily monetised.