Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown, Neale Richmond, has urged the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Brendan Griffin, not to forget club sports as the country reopens.
Deputy Richmond said: “Understandably much of the recent news coverage has focused on how the elite levels of sport are coping with the impact of COVID-19, and many people have discovered a new found love for the Bundesliga.
“However, beyond the elite or professional level of sport, attention must be given to club sports.
“Sports will need detailed guidelines and a roadmap to a return to both training and playing. I’m glad to learn that the Minister has set up a working group to look at returning to this but attention must be given to sport at all levels.
“The financial impact of having to close for such an extended period of time has been devastating for many clubs but due to the uncertain nature of the pandemic, there remains a lack of clarity on when training and matches can restart.
“Clubs participating at a community or social level are not going to have the resources to implement all of the restrictions being adopted by elite levels to kickstart their sports once more.
“Clubs are the backbone of our sporting sector and those who compete at a social level need to be supported for the good of communities all across the country. The prospect of clubs collapsing or teams folding for lack of activity is a very real one beyond the financial impacts.
“I was delighted to have the opportunity to engage with Minister Griffin on this matter and I know that he and his Department are looking at a range of solutions for sports clubs across the country. I really appreciate his commitment to ensure the club game won’t be forgotten in terms of pandemic recovery.”