The Government needs to step up and help all voluntary sporting organisations in their darkest hour by putting a substantial package together, a councillor has said this week.
Kerry County Councillor Michael Cahill has said the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt far and wide throughout the community, in businesses, domestically and basically in every facet of human life.
He said we must not forget all of the volunteer sporting bodies, from rowing to GAA, basketball to soccer, athletics, rugby, drama, dancing and many more, who cater for peoples’ health and entertainment every day of the year and who depend on the public donations and sponsorship to keep the show on the road.
“It would shock many people to know how much it costs to run a small sized sporting club in this day and age in order to provide facilities for our youth and entertainment for the not so young,” said the Fianna Fail Councillor.
“Insurance must be provided for participants, the public, buildings and contents etc. Lighting, heating and water must be on hand and paid for. Affiliation to county and national bodies must be paid in order to take part in competitions.”
He added that other costs include maintenance of grounds and buildings which constantly require updating.
“If your club is small but progressive, you can be sure that expenditure of €100,000 is a conservative estimate of what needs to be raised to keep it afloat,” stated Councillor Cahill.
“All of these voluntary groups presently have their activities shut down which means there are no gate/door receipts. Because other businesses such as pubs, etc are closed there is no opportunity to sell club Lotto or collect sponsorship,” he said.
“We have to ensure their survival in the same way as all of our family businesses and financial support is vital if we are to be successful. Our Government needs to help all our voluntary sporting organisations in their darkest hour and put a substantial package together. They simply do not have any cashflow or income at this time.”