Sport England invests almost £0.5 billion in grassroots sport to keep the inspiration of London 2012 alive

Posted: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 12:16

Sport England invests almost £0.5 billion in grassroots sport to keep the inspiration of London 2012 alive
  • Sport England offers 46 sports funding to get more people taking part
  • 31 sports receiving largest ever grassroots investment

Sport England today announced a £493 million four-year investment to keep the inspiration of London 2012 alive and help fulfil Lord Coe's pledge that the Games would get more people – young and old, women and men – playing sport, a feat that no other host nation has ever managed to achieve.

  • Cycling, netball, wheelchair basketball and triathlon are among the sports being rewarded for their strong plans and excellent progress on grassroots sport, all receiving funding increases of over 30 per cent.
  • England Netball has shown that understanding what women want from sport is key to getting more women involved and plans to add to its success with a new I love Netball campaign to inspire more teenage girls to take part.
  • British Cycling will build on the work that's got hundreds of thousands more people on their bikes in recent years, including Sky Ride, a great way of getting families on their bikes
  • More and more women and men are getting involved in triathlon and to keep up the momentum Triathlon England will introduce a low-cost events programme for anyone who has felt priced out of this exciting sport
  • British Wheelchair Basketball will lead work on a new cross-sport programme to help more disabled people get involved by improving links with groups that already support disabled people such as Rehabilitation Services.

Recognising that more needs to be done to make sport a practical lifestyle choice for disabled people, 40 sports have now developed detailed plans to tackle this challenge. Each will have specific targets for increasing the number of disabled people taking part.

Sport England's Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: "This investment represents Years 5 to 8 of our long term plan to get more people playing sport. We've learned a lot over the last four years and with a record 15.5 million people already playing sport once a week, we are on track to deliver. We have worked very hard, with the governing bodies of sport, to make these decisions, and I believe they are right."

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said: "This public investment of almost half a billion pounds for grassroots sport will help us deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. We want all sports governing bodies to help inspire a generation and create a culture where people have a sporting habit for life."

Backing youth

At least 60 per cent of the investment announced today will support young people aged between 14 and 25.

More than £83 million of this will be used to support the development of talented young athletes in 43 sports, ensuring those with podium dreams receive the best possible coaching and support in high-quality facilities. Canoeing and sailing are among the sports receiving increased investment to further improve their strong talent programmes.

Jennie Price added: "Every young athlete begins their sporting journey in a community - in their local club, helped by local volunteers. Our £83 million investment is designed to build a strong spine of talent support in the community system, to get them off to the best possible start."

Sport England has worked closely with UK Sport to ensure talent and elite funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports is aligned and will deliver maximum value.

Demanding results

Investments in the 46 sports will be made through each sport's governing body following a robust and challenging process to assess the quality of their plans and their ability to deliver for community sport and talent development.

Each sport will be subject to tough performance management through a 'payment for results' approach that will see Sport England rewarding success and penalising failure.

£40 million of the total funding package has been set aside in a Reward and Incentive Fund, enabling Sport England to move swiftly to help high-performing sports achieve even more. And any governing body that fails to achieve its annual targets for increasing participation faces losing 20 per cent of its remaining investment, with the money immediately available to bids from the open market.

The track record of swimming, tennis and basketball has led Sport England's Board to make only one-year investments for participation in those sports. This will give the governing bodies the chance to demonstrate that they can succeed. Table tennis, fencing and squash are also receiving one-year awards because further development is needed in some areas of their work before a longer term commitment can be made.

Further investment for each of these six sports has been ring-fenced for the remaining three years. This money could be invested through the governing bodies providing they succeed in the first year of funding, and if not will be made available to other organisations that can promote participation in those sports.

Jennie Price said: "For the first time we have created a specific fund to reward success by NGBs who prove they can grow their sports. This is about backing winners.

"Investment in this scale from the public purse is a big responsibility for the sector as a whole, and we are committed to a tough but fair approach of payment for results. We are determined to get good value for every pound of this funding"

To complement its direct investment into the sports, Sport England today also announced £15.1 million investment to a number of partner organisations. These include those which promote diversity in sport, such as the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation and the English Federation of Disability Sport, and those with particular expertise such as sports coach UK. The funding will ensure the sports have access to high quality advice and support to help them achieve the goal of getting more people playing sport regularly.

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