Sport England and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has given details of a new five-year youth and community sport strategy that will deliver on Lord Coe’s 2012 Games bid promise to inspire a generation to get involved in sport.
Between 2012 and 2017 over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding will be invested to create a meaningful and lasting community sport legacy by growing sports participation at the grassroots level.
Under the new strategy, every secondary school in England is set to host a community sports club, and £10 million will be made available to open up school sport facilities for wider public use.
In 2017, five years after the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to have transformed sport in England so that playing sport becomes a lifelong habit for more people and a regular choice for the majority. In particular, we want to raise the number of 14- to 25-year-olds playing sport.
National governing bodies (NGBs) will continue to play a pivotal role in increasing participation, particularly among young people. And, as the Secretary of State has outlined today, a tougher regime of payment-by-results will be a fundamental feature of our performance management system. This will be coupled with a new incentive fund to enable those doing exceptionally well to achieve more.
County sports partnerships will support NGBs, foster local links and help transition young people into clubs. We will support and work with local authorities through our advocacy tools and investment including a new community activation fund.
Partners including the National Partners, StreetGames, the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, the Youth Sport Trust and others will add value and support our work.
“Changing the sporting behaviour of a generation is a major challenge which has not been achieved by any other Olympic host nation,” said Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price. “With a new focus on young people and an even tougher, Government-backed, regime of payment by results, Sport England and its partners are determined to deliver.”
Under the strategy:
- Every one of the 4,000 secondary schools in England, will be offered a community sport club on its site with a direct link to one or more NGBs, depending on the local clubs in its area
- County sports partnerships will be given new resources to create effective links locally between schools and sport in the community
- All secondary schools who wish to do so will be supported to open up, or keep open, their sports facilities for local community use and at least a third of these will receive additional funding to make this happen
- 150 College Sports Makers working across most of the 347 general FE colleges
- Three-quarters of the university student population (aged 16-24) – that’s over 900,000 young people - will get a chance to take up a new sport or continue playing a sport they enjoyed in school or college
- A thousand of our most disadvantaged local communities will get a Door Step Club
- Two thousand young people on the margins of society will be supported into sport and to gain new life skills by the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust
- There will be a new £40 million local sport fund to help local authorities improve sport provision
- Building on the early success of Places People Play, a further £100m will be invested in new facilities for the most popular sports, for example new artificial pitches and upgrading local swimming pools
- A minimum of 30 sports will have enhanced England Talent Pathways to ensure young people and others fulfil their potential.
In future, NGB investment will start at age 14 to ensure a better transition from school sport and create a sporting habit for life through increasing participation overall.
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: “Looking ahead to the next funding cycle, we have ambitious plans to build further on the success we’ve achieved over the past few years, and to capitalise on the inspirational impact of London 2012 to increase participation. We look forward to continuing to work closely with Sport England on turning these plans into reality under the new strategy outlined today. We take our responsibilities seriously in terms of maximising the impact of the public money we receive. We fully appreciate the fact this funding is a privilege and not a right, and with that in mind it makes sense to tie-in continued funding to the achievement of agreed goals and objectives to help ensure the best return on investment across all sports.”
The sporting legacy was given a further boost today when Sainsbury’s pledged a £10 million package to support the new School Games Competition over the next four years, alongside other additional funding including £8 million from Sport England.
Jeremy Hunt said: “We are absolutely determined to leave a real and lasting legacy for young people from London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Sainsbury’s School Games will help do just that. The fantastic funding package announced today – from Sainsbury’s, adidas and the Department of Health - shows the commitment to completely transform competitive sport in schools. I want to thank Sainsbury’s and adidas for their generosity in helping to secure the future of the School Games beyond 2012.”
Sport England is investing up to £35.5 million of National Lottery funding in the School Games. More details of today’s announcement on the School Games can be found here.