Elite Sport presents challenges for Irish athletes

The lie of the land of Irish Sport

Over 52 Irish athletes have successfully qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. In the coming year, over 30 more are expected to qualify, taking Team Ireland to 80+ athletes.

In addition to Olympic Sport, Ireland has a wealth of talent competing across a multitude of team and individual sports. Organisations such as the  GAA, IRFU, FAI, Basketball Ireland, Swim Ireland, Cycling Ireland, Tennis Ireland, Sport Ireland and other sporting bodies, all do their best to support talent in line with their mandated roles.

The result has been a group of Irish sportspeople making splashes in the boxing, golfing and cycling world in 2020.

Despite these successes, many athletes in Ireland struggle to fund their dream and juggle the work necessary to compete at the top with everyday life. In this post, we will outline the roadblocks many athletes encounter and how Sport Tech firms can positively fit into the story.

Sport is being pushed to the side by the Youth

Young people in Ireland struggle to fit sport into their life.  The sport participation is becoming a big issue, as according to a recent report by the CSSPA 2018, the youth of Ireland are playing less sport.

Children and teens are playing less sport. So by extension, Ireland’s emerging athletes must struggle to devote the necessary time to become elite performers. Especially, when their peers don’t value sport, and they are at an age when peer acceptance is sought after. Life only gets busier as we age, making it harder for elite athletes to devote themselves to their sport. With such an outlook, it makes a career as an elite sportsperson less attractive to children. Thus, it may have a negative effect on Ireland’s emerging talent pursuing sport as a career.

 

The Pressures of Life

Irish athletes often move away from home during their teens to access elite facilities, whether that be a fully professional environment or a university programme. Securing adequate financial support is massive for any athlete but is crucial for young athletes’ development. They may be on the cusp of elite status but must bridge the gap. With sufficient support, the pressure of life ease – and the athlete can focus on improving at their sport.

Irish sporting bodies offer financial grants and access to state of the art facilities to  Ireland’s athletes and coaches. Many university programmes support their athletes similarily. They do great work to support athletes and develop their respective sport in Ireland. However, the funds at the sporting bodies disposals are limited. Especially, when compared to the budget of larger nations.

 

What is your brand’s role?

Many athletes are actively reaching out and advertising themselves to brands for support. Many athletes have jobs outside of their sport. Professional contracts are rarely offered. as the majority of elite sports are amateur. Therefore, the majority of elite athletes are amateur. Many elite athletes receive no significant financial gain from competing or even winning at their sport.

Support from a brand goes a long way for elite athletes, whatever form it takes. It can alleviate unhelpful stress from an athlete’s day. Above all, it encourages Irish athletes to push on and leave their successful mark on their sporting. It reminds them, that hard work put in, doesn’t go unnoticed and unrewarded.

As a brand, you have the ability to help athletes and the opportunity your customers that you are willing to support their up-and-coming, current and former sporting heroes. All illustrate that hard work and passion are required to succeed, just as your brand, has required hard work and passion to succeed.

 

How does Sport Endorse fit in?

Sport Endorse are here to support the elite athletes during and beyond their sporting careers. We are here for the athletes who make sacrifices every day to achieve their aims.  Sport Endorse‘s goal is to facilitate athletes in devoting as much time as possible to getting better performances, and to spend less time searching for necessary funding/support. The Sport Endorse Platform is the perfect tool for athletes as it provides an easy connection to opportunities, facilitates the conversations and the transactions between athletes and brands. Register for free today at Sport Endorse!