The Federation of Irish Sport is a representative body comprising of 110 members including 81 National Governing Bodies and the national network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. We are proud to promote and celebrate the work done by our members in the growth of Sport and Physical Activity nationwide. The Federation also serves it’s members as the collective voice of to advocate to Government the importance of Sport and Physical Activity to the country not just in terms of our health and social well-being but also from an economic perspective. This is done formally each year through our Pre-Budget Submission to Government. The sector employs over 64,000 jobs that are sport related and the total estimated value of Sport to the Irish economy is €3.7bn.

At the Irish Sport Industry Awards, we are delighted to celebrate the positive work and achievements of National Governing Bodies in growing their sport and of Local Sports Partnerships in increasing participation in sport and physical activity.

As we continue to spotlight our category winners of the 2022 awards, it’s time to review the shortlists for National Governing Body of the Year and Local Sports Partnership of the Year.

The nominees shortlisted for National Governing Body of the Year 2022 were:

  • Vision Sports Ireland
  • Canoeing Ireland
  • Special Olympics Ireland
  • Badminton Ireland
  • Irish Sailing Association
  • Volleyball Ireland

The winner was Volleyball Ireland.

Volleyball Ireland made significant developments in their commitment to increasing participation and diversity in growing the game. They took a serious approach to their Governance structures with the appointment of 2 x Independent Directors, the roll out of a comprehensive induction programme for Board and Committee members and the publishing of an award-winning Annual Report becoming the first Sports body to win the prestigious Carmichael Good Governance Award for Annual Reports. They have also ensured we have gender balance at Board level (56:44, F:M). Volleyball Ireland continued to grow the game despite the setbacks of Covid 19 and restrictions on indoor sports in particular. Despite the pandemic.  Volleyball Ireland increased participation by 55% and a 47% rise in social media followers and has seen a +325% increase in the number of active and licensed juniors playing the sport. Pivoting against the impact of indoor sport restrictions they secured funding to install 30 posts on beaches and parks across Ireland and also developed the Park Tour – to help clubs run outdoor volleyball activities.

They have lead the way in opening their membership to refugees arriving in Ireland from the Ukraine. Specifically targeted the recruitment of foreign nationals into our sport with an innovative PlayVolley marketing campaign translated into different languages, and in early 2022 led the drive to help integrate Ukrainians into Irish Sport. Their growth has been noticed at International level, with their CEO Gary Stewart recently invited to present their story of success at the Annual European Volleyball Congress.

Local Sports Partnership of the Year Award 2022

This award is to celebrate and shine a light on the tremendous work being done by the national network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships. It recognises the Local Sports Partnership that has shown the most initiative in promoting sport and physical activity and/or community engagement.

The nominees for Local Sports Partnership of the Year 2022 were:

  • Clare Local Sports Partnership
  • Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership
  • Laois Sports Partnership
  • Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership
  • Longford Sports Partnership
  • Donegal Sports Partnership

The 2022 winner Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership identifies opportunities and strives to create a variety of accessible sport and physical option. They focus on several target groups to ensure there are ongoing initiatives in clubs, community organisations and schools programmes, to cater for young people, intergenerational engagement, men over 35, disadvantaged areas and ethnic minorities to name a few. One campaign implemented was their LeadHers educational programme for women. A key element to come out of the course was the creation of a Women In Sport leadership network among the women in Sligo. It gives participants a group of likeminded people that could help support each other in future endeavours and collaborate on new ideas and initiatives. They continue to offer a wide range of education and training courses to support a quality coaching workforce in Co. Sligo.