In a previous post, a few weeks ago I presented a breakdown of Ireland’s Sports Capital grants over the period 2002-2015 in an overall and by county breakdown (here). In summary what was noted was that inequality appeared to be more pronounced within the larger urban areas, namely Dublin, Cork and Limerick. However, what also may me of interest to people is the breakdown of the distribution between different types of sports. I have discussed this previously (here) noting that across counties particular types of sports tend to dominate the distribution in terms of funding award.
Nonetheless, I will extend the analysis to include a more up to date time series and also utilise different methods of analysis. Table 1 below highlights some descriptive statistics of the breakdown of grants by different sports, nationally over the entire time period. Before we discuss the figures presented in Table 1 it should be highlighted the methodology behind how grants where categorised into types of sports. Key words where searched for in the name of the grant recipient also the column which gave a description as to what the grant was intended for. It should also be noted, which I’ve pointed to previously that these categorises are not mutually exclusive. For instance under the Multi-Sport category it could be assumed in some cases that grants were awarded for the construction of a project for two sports, an example being an all-weather surface for a GAA and soccer team. Moreover, if a sports hall was built with grant funding, potentially numerous sporting codes could use it e.g. boxing, basketball. Thus, with this partial caveat noted let us turn to Table 1.
As noted previously, it is striking to see the inequality in terms of the share of awards given and also the share of the value of these awards. Over the entire period, Gaelic Games account for 35% of the awards given out and 36% of the overall share of funding awarded. In other words for this period and the data within this study Gaelic Games account for over 2,000 awards given out, and in nominal terms more than €200,000,000 in funding. This is nearly twice as much in terms of the share of awards and funding received by Soccer clubs over the period, the sport with the second largest share. In fact if we group Gaelic Games, Soccer and Multi-Sport awards together, these three activities account for 67% of total awards and 78% of total funding over the period. In this regard it would appear that there is quiet a degree of inequality in terms of awards given and funding between different types of sports codes.
However, what is the distribution of funding within sports? For this we turn to the GINI coefficient. On an ordinal basis, grants awarded to Basketball (0.74), Rowing (0.72) and Swimming (0.71) have some of the most unequal distribution in terms of their GINI scores. However, not a lot should be inferred from this as the GINI coefficient is known to be biased when dealing with small sample sizes (these three sports together account for 5% of awards and 3% of the value of grants). Although receiving the majority share of funding, when it comes to the actual distribution of that funding, Gaelic Games is fairly equal with a GINI score of 0.42. In contrast, other sporting codes which received large shares of funding such as Soccer and Multi-Sport projects have larger GINI scores of 0.53 and 0.59 respectively.
Given the heterogeneity between/within regions and sports it is also worthwhile to examine the differences between sports and regions. A follow up blog to this will examine the distribution of awards for Gaelic Games, Soccer, Multi-sport and Rugby on such a very topic.