Sport Ireland announce a new maternity pay policy for pregnant athletes 1 year ago

Sport Ireland announce a new maternity pay policy for pregnant athletes

Sport Ireland has announced a 12-month maternity policy for pregnant athlete.

This means that going forward athletes will receive carding as normal until the birth of their child and funding will continue for an additional six months after.

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It's also thought that additional supports will be provided so that high-performance athletes can continue at this level after giving birth.

Galway native Olive Loughnane, a member of Sport Ireland's board, is delighted to see such a positive change.

The retired race walker said:

"As one of many athletes whose best performances followed the birth of my daughter, I'm really excited the see the introduction of this policy.

"It is really positive that female sportspeople will be able to make a life choice that is right for them, safe in the knowledge that they will be supported by their National Governing Body and Sport Ireland".

The move is a welcome one as just a few months ago, global brand Nike was the source of much controversy when six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix said that a 70 percent pay decrease was suggested after she gave birth.

Writing in The New York Times, Felix spoke about how women were treated differently after having children.

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"Despite all my victories, Nike wanted to pay me 70 percent less than before. If that’s what they think I’m worth now, I accept that".

Nike has since made changes to ensure that pregnant athletes will not have their sponsorship payments affected going forward, largely due to Allyson speaking out.

Allyson gave birth to her daughter Camryn in November 2018 and after returning to the track in July, she ended her contract with Nike to pursue a new one with Athleta.