Tens of thousands of young people are to be helped to find the sport that inspires them thanks to a new three-year partnership between the Premier League and Sport England.
Combining the unique appeal of top football clubs with the experience and expertise of Sport England and the sports organisations it supports, this deal will engage youngsters from some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
The investment will drive the expansion of two community programmes – Premier League 4 Sport (PL4Sport) and a rebranded Kickz. The funding will be equally split with each partner committing £1.3 million per year to PL4Sport and £1.5 million per year to the new Kickz initiative.
Today’s announcement was welcomed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Maria Miller who joined Olympic sprinter Adam Gemili, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Sport England’s Chair Nick Bitel at an event in a school in Brixton.
Adam Gemili, a promising footballer before committing himself to athletics, said: “Sport has played a massive part of my life, so it’s brilliant to see how the Premier League and Sport England’s Lottery investment is helping other young people to get involved.
“Like so many kids, watching and then playing football was the way I first got into sport, but of course I’ve ended up a sprinter and these programmes are giving thousands of youngsters the chance to try different sports and find the one they love.”
Maria Miller said: “This move will help us leave a real sports legacy from London 2012. Premier League clubs have great pulling power and this £17 million partnership with Sport England will encourage thousands of young people to try out different sports. It shows how the private and public sectors can come together to strengthen community sport across the country.”
Nick Bitel said: “This partnership will help sport to change the lives of tens of thousands of young people. We’re determined that every young person should have opportunities to discover a sport that excites them and inspires them to develop a sporting habit for life.”
Richard Scudamore said: “Our clubs have a fantastic track record in terms of investing in and committing to a wide range of good-cause and grass-roots initiatives. Premier League Kickz and Premier League 4 Sport – both part of our Creating Chances programme and focussed on sports participation – are hugely successful examples of that and have benefitted thousands of young people in recent years. The increased investment announced today, along with the expertise brought in by our new partner Sport England, provides our clubs with the opportunity to take these projects to the next level and get more young people playing sport across the country.”
Sport England and the Premier league first combined in 2009 to create PL4Sport, which has already engaged 60,000 young people and created 320 of the clubs that formed the basis for the satellite clubs now being introduced across the country by Sport England and its partners. The new PL4 Sport partnership will see:
- Athletics, boxing, golf and tennis added to the eight Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports already on offer through PL4Sport
- A further 270 satellite sports clubs created, where tens of thousands of young people will enjoy these sports
- More than 1,500 volunteers trained, 450 competitions delivered and 2,500 sports qualifications obtained.
Since 2006, Kickz has helped 71,500 youngsters to get involved in sport, targeting the hardest to reach young people from disadvantaged areas. The expansion of the re-branded programme will see:
- An extra 30,000 young people engaged over the next three years
- A further 3,000 volunteers trained and 600 competitions delivered.
Transparent accountability and governance will be provided by the Premier League Charitable Fund and investment will be directed through community foundations which are financially separate from their parent club.