Deputy Patrick Ryan, the Minister for Education Sport & Culture, has decided to reinstate a portion of the sports grant for 2012 while other funding options are investigated. The total now available will be £122,500.
Following a meeting today with members of the Advisory Council for Sport, agreement was reached that the proposed reduction from £176,000 in 2011 to a grant of £38,000 for 2012 was unviable and could destabilise sporting activity and affect participation in the Island.
Deputy Ryan said: “This is a temporary solution but it will provide a breathing space for everyone involved. Planned sporting activities can continue this year but, more importantly, I can work with all parties to find a more permanent solution.
“We all agree that a vibrant sports community is invaluable to our island, especially in terms of health and benefits for young people, and we are well aware of the high levels of achievement,” he added. “I had an extremely positive meeting with the Advisory Council today and listened to all their concerns. I have committed to finding an extra sum of money for this year on the understanding that we must all work together to find better ways to increase sports funding in future.’”
Brian Ahier, the chairman of the Advisory Council said: “We understand the difficulties ESC is facing and we are grateful to the Minister for his support. Reinstating this money means we will be able to allocate grants this year although some people may receive slightly less. This reprieve will take some of the pressure off sporting groups while we reassess how we operate.”
£160,000 has been permanently removed from ESC’s budget after the previous States approved a CSR cut in the spending on sports grants, the majority of which fund competitors’ overseas trips.
“Finding this extra money in 2012 will not be easy because it’s essential to safeguard the frontline services and facilities in the rest of the department,” Deputy Ryan added.
A series of meetings will now be arranged with sporting bodies to explore the issues further.