The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and physical recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. The most recent round of the Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications had been submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding. The record number of applications again demonstrates the popularity of the programme.
I receive representations concerning all aspects of my areas of responsibility. Representations are made in relation to the Sports Capital Programme by clubs, by public representatives and by individuals. Occasionally, I receive requests for meetings which, subject to diary commitments, I try to accommodate. People I meet informally sometimes raise particular cases. However, in the interests of equity, and in order to ensure that every application is treated equally, regardless of whether or not representation is made to me, Minister Ross, or any of my officials, the assessment procedure and scoring system used to assess applications is published prior to assessments commencing. As has been communicated publicly on many previous occasions, neither Minster Ross nor I have any role in the assessment or scoring of individual applications. However engaging with applicants and hearing about their plans helps me greatly in my job to understand the many issues affecting grassroots sports organisations and volunteers and how the SCP can help address these issues.