National Governing Bodies of Sport are independent, autonomous bodies and have responsibility for their own operational arrangements for their sports, including the scheduling of fixtures and selection of venues for matches and events. I have no role in the scheduling of fixtures or selection of venues and it would be inappropriate for me to intervene in such operational decisions of sporting organisations. Accordingly, I have not had discussions in this regard.
Notwithstanding this, I acknowledge that the current cost of living pressures could potentially impact on attendance at sporting events and I would encourage sporting organisations to be mindful of this as well as of climate impacts when scheduling venues for matches and events.
Significant funding support was provided to sporting organisations in 2020 and 2021 to assist them in meeting the challenges of Covid. This funding was particularly important for those National Governing Bodies that depend on revenue from gate receipts and spectator attendance. Since the restrictions on spectator attendance were lifted, spectators have returned to sporting events in great numbers and I hope that this will continue to be the case for upcoming events. My officials and I will continue to monitor the situation over the coming weeks.
With regard to climate action and major sports events, my Department is currently developing a new Major Sports Events Policy, which was recently the subject of a public consultation process. The policy is still in development and it is envisaged that improving the sustainability of major sports events and exploring the use of high profile events as platforms to promote sustainability will form part of that policy development process. This, along with other specific actions under the Climate Action Plan, will ensure that sustainable practices are adopted across the sport sector.