2024 Athlete Carding Scheme

Sport Ireland (SI) invest in High Performance sports through the annual athlete carding scheme.  Collectively as a joint programme SI and Athletics Ireland will manage and administer the 2024 athlete carding scheme.  This involves Athletics Ireland taking on responsibility for SI’s carding scheme and being accountable for the overall carding programme.  Carding applications and funding will be managed through Athletics Ireland and SI will oversee the management of the scheme.  Additionally, AAI provides funding from its own sources for athletes who do not meet the criteria for individual SI carding (International, Podium, World Class) to athletes that are, or are likely to be, selected and make an impact at targeted international championships via Emerging Talent, Development and Discretionary categories of carding.

This document outlines Athletics Ireland’s High Performance 2024 carding scheme (Operation Gold Performance Programme or ‘OGPP’) for athletes aged 20 and older, the programme support structures, selection process and policy, appeals process and how athletes will be considered for carding at the various levels of the programme. 

Please note, from 2024 applications for Emerging Talent Carding for athletes aged 16 to 19 on 31st December 2023 will be handled seperately via the Performance Pathway Programme. Full criteria and application form for Emerging Talent Carding are available via seperate links below.

A key strategic goal of Athletics Ireland’s high performance programme is to provide a world‐class approach to identify and develop talented athletes capable of winning at the highest level in their event discipline. The OGPP was developed and has evolved to select talented athletes and support this strategy to deliver on Athletics Ireland’s high performance goals and vision.

The Operation Gold Performance Programme will select and invest in athletes to provide “more opportunities” and to “achieve performance results”, and will support athletes who can deliver on our performance goals and meet with the individual selection criteria set out within the different levels and age groups (see Carding Categories section 6) of: Podium - World-Class -International, Development, Discretionary and Relay Team categories.

The Operation Gold Performance Programme combines the resources of Athletics Ireland in conjunction with the High Performance funding from Sport Ireland (SI) and the service provision from the Sport Ireland Institute (SII) to deliver a support programme to identified talented athletes. The overall Operation Gold Performance Programme is enabled by, and will be limited to, the resources available from Athletics Ireland and our stakeholders, who provide the resources and funding for our athletes. Priority resourcing will vary at each level of carding and will impact on the total number of athletes supported, particularly at the lower levels of the programme. Moreover, some benefits or support networks may only be available to athletes based in Ireland.



All currently carded and any newly considered athletes must apply for carding each year.  The applications for individual carding will be made available on the HP section of AAI HP website (see link below). After selection, athletes will be notified and provided with additional information around carding support. The Selectors retain the discretion  to consider an athlete for carding where an application has inadvertently not been made. The process for individual carding:

  1. Application form and criteria available on HP section of AAI website
  2. Athletes will submit application for consideration to the OGPP.
  3. Selectors meeting to consider carding apllications
  4. AAI will notify athletes that have/have not been selected to the OGPP.
  5. AAI will publsih list of carded athletes.


Carding Resources

The 2024 Athletics Ireland Operation Gold Performance Programme Selection Criteria can be found here for athletes aged 20 and over in 2023.

2024 Sport Ireland Carding Criteria (NB - applicants for Sport Ireland Carding should review this document in tandem with the above OGPP Selection Criteria)

The 2024 Carding Application Form, for athletes aged 20 and over in 2023, can be found here.  (This link is now closed)


Emerging Talent Carding Resources

The 2024 Athletics Ireland Emerging Talent Selection Criteria can be found here (for athletes aged 16 to 19 on 31st December 2023) 

The 2024 Emerging Talent Carding Application Form, for athletes aged 16 to 19 on 31 December 2023, can be found here.  (This link will close on Friday February 9th at 23:59)


The Notice of Appeals Form for appealing against a carding decision can be found here.for appealing against a carding decision can be found here. 


List of Athletes that received carding support in 2024

List of Athletes that received Carding support in 2023

List of Athletes that received Carding support in 2022

List of Athletes that received Carding support in 2021

List of Athletes that received Carding support in 2020  

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