Sports Hardship Fund

Sport NI in partnership with the Department for Communities are delighted to announce the re-opening of the Sports Hardship Fund; to further help sports clubs and other organisations delivering sporting activities, who are still experiencing financial hardship.

Initially opened on 14 April the Sports Hardship Fund has so far provided support totalling over £1mto help over 500 sports clubs maintain facilities during the lockdown.

This next phase will prioritise new applications for £2,000 and now includes club and organisations who ‘block book’ (hire) their facilities as well as owning or leasing facilities.

Returning applicants may also apply for a £1,000 top up to their award if they have fully expended the initial £2,000.

Who we can support

Eligible organisations delivering sport and physical recreation can apply to our fund if experiencing financial hardship.

These organisations include:

  • Governing Bodies of Sport recognised by Sport NI (with and office base in NI)
  • Constituted local sports clubs affiliated to a Governing Body of Sport recognised by Sport NI
  • Community & Voluntary sector organisations that deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation as their primary activity. Sports and activities must be recognised by Sport NI.
  • Small charitable trusts that deliver or enable sport and/or physical recreation as their primary activity; and do not qualify for financial help elsewhere. Sports and activities must be recognised by Sport NI.

A list of recognised Governing Bodies and activities is available (List of Recognised Governing Bodies & Activities)

What we’ll fund

The fund has been developed to help sport and physical recreation organisations meet their obligations, in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue as a result of coronavirus. This might cover expenditure on:

  • Facility Hire i.e. block bookings.
  • Rent/lease payments
  • Heat
  • Light
  • Utilities
  • Water Rates
  • Essential grounds/facility maintenance (to maintain a state of readiness)
  • Some Insurance (essential building/contents insurance, public liability, pro-rata)


How much we’ll fund

Each successful applicant (previously not in receipt of a Sports Hardship Fund award) will receive £2,000 towards eligible costs incurred from 1st April 2020.

Applicants who have previously received funding from the Sports Hardship Fund may be eligible for an additional grant of £1,000,

Priority will be given to those applicants not previously in receipt of a Sports Hardship Fund award.

Organisations should not apply if they have:

  • Received grant funding through the Department for Economy Retail Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant.


Where to apply

Please click here to read the programme guidance note and to begin an online application for the financial support fund.


This fund will close for completed applications at 12 noon on Thursday 5th November 2020.

 In the event that the 3rd call is oversubscribed, we will assess new applicants first (on the basis of date/time of submission). Repeat applications will  be assessed on the basis of date/time submitted.

Help and Advice

If you need help or if you have any questions please contact:



Angharad Bunt 078 1018 3023

Conleth Donnelly 079 6724 0549