Sport England today announced an investment of £480 million to deliver grassroots sporting opportunities and a lasting Olympic legacy of one million people playing more sport.
46 sports, including all 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sports, have been awarded funding on the basis of their ability to increase the number of people playing and enjoying sport, and to create development pathways for those with talent.
14 sports, including fencing, handball, wheelchair basketball and taekwondo are receiving funding to develop their grassroots for the first time.
The overall amount invested directly into national governing bodies has increased from the 2005-09 allocation, and been brought into a single award for each sport. Responsibility for delivery has been placed in the hands of each governing body, with clear targets agreed on a sport-by-sport basis.
The investment decisions follow a rigorous assessment and a four-month period of engagement with the sports focused on achieving the ‘grow, sustain and excel’ outcomes at the heart of Sport England’s strategy. This has ensured that the right funding is being invested in the right places.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:
“Sport England has worked hard to ensure that our half a billion pound investment in grassroots sport delivers value for money and, most importantly, results.
“We believe that our partnership approach with national governing bodies, and other parts of the sporting landscape, will capitalise on London 2012 and leave the first ever grassroots sporting legacy from an Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Together, we are building the firm foundations of a world-leading community sport system.”
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham MP, said:
“Ahead of 2012, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get more people participating regularly in sport. This will be a tough challenge, but with this huge investment in the broadest range of sports, we believe it can be done.
“We want a world-leading community sport system in this country driven by the expertise of our national governing bodies, working with Sport England. This will mean excellent sports clubs, quality facilities and more opportunities for people to get involved in sport.”
Each sport has developed a plan which defines where it can contribute to the grow, sustain and excel outcomes. Many exciting projects will be funded including:
-British Tennis will get thousands of people playing in clubs and in their local parks where hundreds of courts will be upgraded and brought back into use. At least 100 of the park sites will be developed as thriving places to play with regular coaching, training and competitions to encourage social activity. British Tennis will invest £2 of partnership funding for every £1 of Sport England investment.
-Judo has recognised that recreational space in London is scarce, and has identified an opportunity to increase participation in the capital. Judo can be played in a wide variety of venues from meeting rooms to cafeterias and church halls, and lightweight ‘jigsaw’ mats can be quickly laid down and pulled up at the end of each session. British Judo plans to work closely with the London boroughs to create dozens of new clubs to ensure more people have access to the sport across the city.
-Cycling aims to unearth 140 athletes with podium potential over the next four years, through the ‘Go-Ride’ network, which counts Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny as one of its successes. By expanding the successful ‘Go-Ride’ network of child-friendly clubs and overall participation, the sport plans to identify, and provide a pathway for, talented riders to get to the top.
-England Handball plans to capitalise on the heightened interest shown in the sport since London was awarded the 2012 Games. They will begin a programme of development, setting up handball networks to develop club structures. The work will be undertaken in a in a small number of regions, starting with the North West, London & South East and West Midlands. All this builds upon the success Handball has enjoyed through working with teaching universities and Street Games – at the recent Manchester Street Games festival, the number of Street Games areas taking part in the Handball event increased from 8 to 25.
-Rugby League not only plans to increase its adult male appeal through informal alternatives such as tag rugby and the Masters of League for the over-35s, but also to expand beyond its traditional heartlands. The RFL plans to increase female participation across all nine regions, through a mix of coaching and competition opportunities – and at a faster rate than male participation.
-England Athletics will create a ‘Run in England’ programme to encourage new groups of people to take up running. Based on the women’s running network founded in 1998, the focus is on people who would not traditionally think of running activities. Using the original women’s network model, ‘Run in England’ will expand its focus to mixed groups and young women, providing the opportunity to run together to improve fitness, confidence and safety. The scheme aims to get 50,000 more people running at least once a week.
Sport England will monitor and evaluate results on a quarterly basis, and will hold governing bodies of sport accountable for their plans. We will know where sports may require help and support in taking their plans to the next stage, and we will provide advice and expertise to help them succeed. Our Active People Survey 2 has provided a baseline for participation in each sport against which specific growth targets will be measured.