Help for Sport hindered by lack of Executive, says Alliance

Alliance representatives have said they are “disappointed” after the Communities Minister confirmed no support fund would be forthcoming for sporting groups in Northern Ireland.

The announcement comes following questions from Kellie Armstrong MLA and David Honeyford MLA in the wake of the Irish Government pledging €35million to help sports clubs this Winter – a move unable to replicated here due to the DUP’s refusal to let an Executive be formed.

Kellie said: “Sports clubs, especially grass roots clubs run by volunteers, struggled to survive Covid. Now while trying to rebuild, they are hit with staggering energy bills. The Minister has confirmed the Department for Communities is not able to bring forward any new package of support as there is no Executive.

The lack of support for sports clubs to help them survive this cost of living crisis falls directly at the feet of the DUP. Their continued strike action means when sports clubs need help this winter, there will be none given.”

Alliance’s Sports spokesperson David Honeyford MLA added: “I meet various sporting organisations and clubs across NI. All are trying hard to develop younger players and to keep the many volunteers who keep sports alive. The cost of energy will turn off floodlights, prevent clubhouses from being heated and cut ability to travel for many teams. All sports will be impacted. All sports need to ask the DUP if their strike is worth it.

If a sports club was in the same disarray as Stormont, the club would be reformed. It’s time to reform Stormont to stop those who don’t want to work. It’s time to let those that do want to govern to get on with it. We need to get support to sports clubs and organisations before some have to close their doors, for good.”