2013-17 whole sport plan investments

Sport England is investing £493m into 46 sports between 2013 and 2017

You can read sport-by-sport details our investment by clicking on the sport titles below, or find out what targets we have set the NGBs.


Angling lands £1.8 million Sport England investment

Sport England has announced its largest ever four-year investment into the sport of angling.

Sport England’s £1.8 million investment will continue to help the Angling Trust to develop the sport, increasing the number of recreational anglers, in particular the large number of anglers who want to fish more often.

Around 130,000 people currently take part in angling once a week but close to a million people fish once a month. The Angling Trust will use its funding to encourage occasional anglers to become more regular ones and to get more disabled people casting lines.

The Angling Trust will use Sport England’s funding to:

  • Support angling clubs through its Club Fish national development programme to offer participation programmes over the four year period
  • Focus on older and disabled anglers through the Let’s Fish coarse and game angling programme, delivered by Angling Champions.
  • Establish a national competition structure at club, county and regional level to get more people fishing every week.

Sport England is providing £138,000 to support up to 800 talented young anglers at regional and national level across the disciplines of game, coarse and sea angling. This investment will help reinforce the sport’s talent development programme which is still in its infancy.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “The Angling Trust has a huge opportunity to increase the number of regular anglers and it is great to see that it has developed its knowledge and insight into their market to get more people fishing more often.

"We are pleased to be working alongside the Environment Agency which supports the sport in getting more people fishing as well as on educational and environmental projects. I’m confident that angling will continue to develop over the next four years with our support.”


Archery targets growth with £2 million Sport England legacy investment

Sport England has announced its largest ever investment of funding in the sport of archery.

Over the next four years, Sport England’s £2 million investment will help Archery GB to continue to develop the sport, increasing the number of recreational players and nurturing the next generation of talented archers.

20% of regular archers are disabled and while most participants are over 35 the sport has proved popular with teenagers taking part in Sport England’s Sportivate programme. This illustrates archery’s potential to appeal to a wide audience.

Archery GB will use Sport England’s funding to boost the grassroots sport by:

  • Developing its ontarget scheme to support archery clubs across England, with a particular focus on the 50 largest clubs
  • Setting up new clubs and supporting the development of existing clubs in universities and further education colleges
  • Improving partnerships with commercial providers to increase the conversion of occasional archers into regular participants.

Sport England is providing £750,000 for talent development. This will improve the support given to young archers at club and county level and ensure the most promising youngsters receive the best possible coaching in chasing their Olympic and Paralympic dreams at three regional performance academies, one of which will become the centre of excellence for disability.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Archery appeals to a really wide range of participants, including many disabled people, and Archery GB now has a great opportunity to develop the sport over the next four years with our support.”


Athletics set to go with £22 million legacy investment from Sport England to get more people up and running.

Sport England’s investment in UK Athletics reflects the fact that more and more people are putting on their running shoes and spikes since London won the bid to host the 2012 London Games.

Over 2 million people are running and taking part in track and field and, with this new £22 million investment, athletics has the potential to get even more people into all its disciplines over the next four years.

Sport England has allocated £8.8 million of the total investment for UK Athletics to get more people involved in informal running, asking the organisation to show strong leadership and work with a range of partners, including the commercial sector, to increase the number of regular runners in England.

UK Athletics will also use Sport England’s funding to boost grassroots by investing in athletics clubs which are experiencing significant growth since the Olympics and Paralympics, as well as in specialist kit and equipment to help set up pop-up clubs in parks and outdoor spaces in 11 priority cities.

With the 2017 World Championships taking place in London, UK Athletics wants to increase the number of talented athletes who could go on to elite and world class level by focusing on increasing and enhancing coaching, as well as improving the competition opportunities for talented disabled athletes.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Over 400,000 more people have taken up running in the past four years and there is an enormous appetite for the sport. This investment will enable UK Athletics to lead the athletics sector in ensuring those that want to can get involved in the sport.

“We’re making a really significant investment in the sport, and in return we expect to see UK Athletics to continue to increase its pace and scope of delivery so that more people can get involved.”


£18 million investment to support grassroots badminton and talented young players

The sporting legacy for badminton looks bright after Sport England announced an £18 million investment over the next four years.

The funding will be made through BADMINTON England and includes £3 million to help the next generation of talented young players fulfil their potential, as well as £2 million to invest in badminton facilities.

Opportunities for disabled people to play badminton competitively will be significantly improved with a big increase in the number of para-badminton competitions across England.

BADMINTON England’s plans to get more people playing the sport are centred around strong partnerships with councils, leisure operators, universities and colleges. They include:

  • The introduction of a new programme called Go Smash to encourage more young people to take up badminton
  • A review of club competition to increase and improve opportunities to play competitively
  • Expanding No Strings Badminton which already offers informal badminton at around 350 venues across England
  • Extending the Playbadminton programme into targeted work with leisure operators to increase opportunities for casual participants to play more regularly.
  • Increased opportunities for further education college students and university students to play badminton.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Badminton is a sport with huge grassroots potential; it’s affordable, appeals to a broad age-range and can be played all year round.

“We’re making a significant investment in this sport, backing a commitment from BADMINTON England to increase its pace and scope of delivery so that even more people can get involved in badminton.”

The £2 million to improve badminton facilities will support BADMINTON England’s work with local councils and leisure operators as well as creating new spaces for the sport by converting empty warehouses into badminton facilities.

Sport England’s investment in talent development will ensure that around 1,750 bright young prospects in the sport benefit from high-quality coaching at Performances Centres around the country. The very best of these young players can look forward to intensive support at the England Junior Academy, as they work to achieve their Olympic ambitions.

Baseball and Softball

Baseball and Softball awarded £3 million investment from Sport England

Baseball Softball UK’s ( BSUK ) long-term vision is for the sports to be played in every park across the country, every week and they plan to use Sport England’s funding to create more adult teams, more community youth teams and improve the experience for both recreational and talented players.

BSUK's plan includes four interlinked programmes:

  • Hit the Pitch which takes baseball and softball into educational institutions, workplaces, local clubs and organised groups and Swing By, which encourages participation through leisure trusts and private sport and fitness operators.
  • Club development by building additional teams and club/league offers. 
  • Play Ball and Little League which focuses on the youth community offer with high quality coaching and links to local community leagues and clubs.
  • Enhancing the quantity and quality of players available for national team selection and retaining talented players beyond their time as elite performers. 

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “We are very excited to be supporting the emerging sports of baseball and softball. While they are relatively small in this country they have large followings abroad and we want to see them increase the number of people playing regularly over the next four years.”


In December 20012, Sport England invested the following amounts in England Basketball: 

  • £815,000 for participation programmes and infrastructure for one year only
  • £1.2 million into satellite clubs to encourage more young people into the sport for four years (2013-17) 
  • £1.5 million to support talented players, also for four years.  

A further £3.2 million was ring-fenced for the sport of basketball, but not awarded to the NGB at that point because England Basketball needed to develop and improve its plans on participation and address leadership and governance issues.

While progress has been made on governance, England Basketball’s participation plans are not strong enough to merit a substantial further investment, and so Sport England has decided to invest in other partners to help grow basketball. This is a particularly important sport as it is very popular with young people and already attracts a diverse audience, with over half its regular players from BME backgrounds. 

Sport England will therefore: 

  • Increase its total investment into the sport of basketball, to £9 million over the period 2013-17 (an increase of £2.25 million)
  • Invest up to £1.9 million of this into the British Basketball League Foundation to extend an existing successful programme across the country
  • Invest £418,000 in a pilot project with Reach and Teach, the organisation that runs Midnight Madness and the London School of Basketball, to extend its activities across London
  • Invest in a substantially reduced participation programme run by England 

Basketball which will include developing improved insight for the whole market to use on how and why people play the sport. 

A further £2.8 million remains available to the sport of basketball and other providers will be given an opportunity to bid for this funding. 


Paralympic sport of boccia scores its highest ever grassroots investment of £1.3 million

Sport England will invest £1.3 million over the next four years into Boccia England  to build on the already significant growth in the sport since 2008. The award includes £300,000 to develop talent and the next generation of Paralympians.

Given the increased awareness and interest in the sport since the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Boccia England aims to double the number of players in the game by 2017.

As a sport which people with severe impairments can play, the investment will enhance the sporting opportunities not only for its core Paralympic classifications but also for a wide range of disabled participants. Boccia England will use a number of programmes to deliver an increase in participation:

  • Pan disability boccia will work with all disability groups including physical and learning impairments in young people and adults to deliver appropriate levels of competition, with four leagues from school to super league level
  • Physical disability boccia, which is also supported by the Lord Taverners, is targeted at under-19 year olds with a physical impairment and will be expanded from 36 to 42 counties, whilst up-skilling coaches and volunteers
  • Visually impaired boccia is currently being developed as a specialised version of the sport, targeting one of the least active disability groups
  • Paralympic Pool boccia will focus on athletes eligible to compete at the Paralympics by delivering different levels and types of competition – this typically hard to reach group of players is particularly important due to their high level of disability

To develop talented athletes, Sport England is investing £300,000 to support the North and South Talent Squad, England Lions Squad and the England Squad, which will feed talent into the GB Paralympic Squad.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “It’s an exciting time for the sport of boccia given the rise in profile thanks to the Paralympic Games. We want to make sure that our investment will create the opportunities for more people with disabilities to get involved on a regular basis, and identify and support the Paralympians of the future.”


Bowls scores legacy investment of £2 million

Using Sport England’s funding, the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA) will aim to get more people playing bowls on a regular basis, building on nearly 215,000 adults who play once a week.

Over the next four years, the BDA will work with a younger age range, targeting those over 55 as well the over 65s.

The BDA will deliver a range of products under the Play Bowls brand to attract more people into the sport, including:

  • Roadshows and national campaigns to raise awareness of bowls
  • Open days and weekly coaching to retain new players and encourage regular participation
  • An overhaul of the coaching system within bowls to ensure that it meets the needs of all types of bowlers.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Bowls is widening it appeal and image through its vision to help people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives. We are confident in the plans of the Bowls Development Alliance to grow the sport and enable people to play sport for longer.”


Boxing scores legacy investment of £5.8 million participation funding to capitalise on the increased interest in boxing following the most successful Olympics ever.

The sport of boxing will build on the golden success at London 2012 at the grassroots with a £4.8 million investment to the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE) from Sport England.

Over 140,000 people put on their boxing gloves every week. Boxing is especially good at bringing people into sport in some of the country’s most deprived communities, while the medal success at London 2012 has created further interest in the sport, especially among women.

Alongside its core club structure, the ABAE will use Sport England investment to exploit opportunities in health and fitness, personal challenge and fitness training for other sports, primarily amongst the 14-25 age group. This includes:

  • Developing sustainable clubs by up-skilling volunteers.
  • Moving into health and fitness market through the ABA BOX programme
  • Encouraging more people into the sport in socially deprived areas and amongst black and minority ethnic ( BME ) communities
  • Keeping more people in the sport through events and competition including opportunities for students, women and older boxers

The Sport England investment in the ABAE includes £1.2 million to support young boxers with talent and a very successful UK Sport-funded GB programme.

Clubs are at the heart of boxing which is why a further £1 million will be available to support boxing clubs directly, helping them maintain momentum and continue to bring more people into the sport.

Director of Sport, Phil Smith said, “Boxing has great potential to grow even more over the next few years and become one of the great London 2012 legacy success stories. We will be working closely with the ABAE on improving its leadership and governance of the sport as this is essential to realise the potential within the sport.”


Record Sport England investment for canoeing. Canoeing to receive £10.2 million to get more paddlers on the water and support talent.

People across England can look forward to more opportunities to get involved in canoeing after Sport England announced a £10.2 million four-year investment.

The funding will enable the British Canoe Union to build on the inspirational performances at this summer’s Olympic Games and with the sport set to make its first Paralympic appearance in 2016, there is strong backing for plans both to get more disabled people taking part and to support talented para-canoeists. This will build on the success of the Paddleability programme over the past few years.

The British Canoe Union’s plans to get more people out on the water include:

  • Launching a new programme - U Canoe - aimed at 14 to 25-year-olds, to encourage participation both on the water and using canoe ergos
  • Expanding Go Canoeing which targets the informal market and links together opportunities to take part through mapped trails, led paddles and mass participation events.
  • Introducing a range of paddlesport challenge events to stimulate more regular participation among the hundreds of thousands of occasional paddlers.

Sport England’s investment also includes £1.5 million for improving canoeing facilities and £3.16 million to support talent development. The talent investment will help the British Canoe Union build on its sound track record of supporting young paddlers to fulfil their potential. The evolution of this work will see regional bases being established to support slalom, sprint and para-canoeing.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “We’re confident that our investment in canoeing’s ambitious plans will deliver a strong legacy at every level of the sport. The key challenge will be to persuade more of the army of occasional paddlers of the benefits of taking part regularly.

“We also welcome the BCU ’s commitment to work more closely with other water sports in the coming four years.”

Sport England has invited canoeing to work with sailing and rowing to examine the potential for a multisport offer that could bid for funding within the four-year investment period.


Over £27.5 million Sport England investment into community cricket

Sport England has committed £27.5 million to get more people regularly taking part in cricket and support the next generation of talented cricketers, including women and disabled players.

Sport England made a four-year investment of £20 million to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to get more people involved in the sport. The ECB will use the investment to:

  • Support the nationwide network of 5,500 clubs to keep more club cricketers in the game for longer
  • To establish more flexible formats of the game. Short formats of the game such as Last Man Stands will achieve national coverage and will encourage those with busy lifestyles and former cricketers unable to give up valuable leisure time to return to the wicket.
  • Develop networks and partnerships to take cricket to new audiences including the desire to harness the inherent appeal of the game within South Asian Communities
  • Encourage more disabled people to take up the game through a targeted programme called Hit the Top.
  • Continue talent development in disability cricket. As a result of the priority, investment and energy ECB has given to the disability game in recent years England have become world leaders in disability cricket, both on and off the field.
  • Focus the women’s game on the supply of players with high potential into the elite academies and development programmes.  

In addition to the investment direct into ECB, Sport England has committed £7.5 million of further investment into cricket to directly fund and support an extension to the highly successful Chance to Shine programme for a further three years.

Chance to Shine will reach over 400,000 young people and develop more than 1,200 new satellite clubs on school sites. StreetChance, a project taking cricket to the inner cities where there is less green space and fewer facilities will also get nearly £1 million via the Cricket Foundation.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith said: “Cricket has made good progress in the past 18 months and we are confident that it can build further momentum over the next four years. We are particularly interested in the progress made in women’s cricket and the initiatives which focus on disabled participation. The sport has acknowledged the need to do more to help the South Asian communities who have strong cultural links to cricket get involved and we look forward to seeing growth in this area.”


Sport England offers huge boost to cycling’s legacy plans.

£32 million funding to get more people on their bikes and support the next generation of cycling stars

Sport England has revealed its biggest ever investment in cycling to secure a lasting sporting legacy for every level of the sport.

Building on the inspirational success of British cyclists at the Olympics and Paralympics, the £32 million four-year investment includes:

  • £6.4 million to help talented young cyclists become the best they can be
  • £7 million to improve cycling facilities.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith said: “British Cycling has already got hundreds of thousands of people back on their bikes and we’re backing their vision to inspire even more people to ride their bikes more often over the coming four years. We will also continue to invest heavily in the sport’s excellent work with talented young riders that has helped to produce champions such as Laura Trott and Jason Kenny in recent years.

“We also welcome British Cycling’s commitment to work with other cycling organisations and local authorities.”

The £7 million to improve cycling facilities will be targeted at traffic-free cycling centres helping more people to enjoy the sport in the safest possible environments.

More than 3,000 gifted young riders will benefit from the £6.4 million talent investment, with the very best of them hoping to vie for Olympic and Paralympic glory in years to come.

At the heart of cycling’s legacy strategy are plans to help more people get involved in the sport, whether that’s mountain biking, trying track cycling or keeping fit out on the roads.

Sport England’s funding will support the expansion of more formal led rides and informal rides as well as the development of a wider range of cycling events where people can compete at the right level and in a safe environment.

Go-Ride will continue to engage young people in cycling by providing opportunities to improve their skills, compete and receive coaching across the range of cycling disciplines throughout England.


Equestrian sport jumps to legacy challenge with £6 million plan to get more people riding

Using Sport England’s investment, the British Equestrian Federation ( BEF) will seek to capitalise on its success of the Olympics and Paralympics to capture more interest in the sport.

The funding, which will be used over a four year period, will focus on a number of activities to attract young new riders, keep more adults riding, and bring former riders back to the sport.

The BEF will increase the opportunities for disabled people to ride by investing throughRiding for the Disabled Association ( RDA ) to expand and accommodate the large number of disabled people currently on waiting lists, as well as expanding and enhancing current facilities.

To complement the grassroots activity BEF will invest £1.1 million in talented riders in each of the four equestrian disciplines. BEF’s focus will be on enhancing coaching and coach succession, helping talented disabled and non-disabled riders get on elite programmes, and developing competitions.

BEF will invest £750k capital funding into five specific projects to support the talented riders which includes extending and improving existing cross country courses and developing a High Performance Centre. The remainder will go to providing floodlighting, all weather surfaces, social/ancillary areas and bridleway/riding out opportunities to grassroots clubs.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “The British Equestrian Federation has a real opportunity to build on success of the Olympics and Paralympics and broaden its appeal to a wider audience. We are pleased with the proposals to work with the disabled community to engage more disabled people in their sport.”

Exercise, Movement and Dance

Exercise, Movement and Dance scores record Sport England investment of £1.9 million

The number of people getting into exercise, movement and dance is set to continue to rise after Sport England has announced its largest ever investment into the Exercise Movement and Dance Partnership ( EMDP ) of £1.9 million.

The funding will be used to get more people going to dance and exercise classes across the country. The market is heavily dominated by women and girls and is a key target area in Sport England’s work to get more women and girls active and enjoying sport.

More teachers will be trained to increase the numbers of classes offered and new materials and resources will be developed to improve the quality of teaching. High quality teaching is one of the key factors in keeping people attending in classes and activities, so a quality assurance register of teachers will be further developed to drive up standards.

Students in higher and further education will be targeted through 10-week programmes of activity, using local teachers to inspire students to get more active. Resources will also be developed for school teachers in pilot schools to run taster sessions.

A new development will see mass participation events delivered in London, Birmingham and Manchester; with taster activities to encourage people to attend regular classes. Various styles of exercise will also be introduced through a multi-sport offer delivered in conjunction with StreetGames.

In addition, an online database will signpost people to local opportunities and provide information about sessions and classes.

Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said ‘There is a strong demand for exercise, movement and dance and our investment will ensure that the EMDP lie at the heart of developing the market and encouraging in particular women and girls to get moving.”


In December 2012, Sport England announced a one-year investment of £520,000 into British Fencing too get more people involved in fencing and support the next generation of talented fencers. The NGB was tasked to develop its plans to increase the number of people playing the sport and complete much needed organisational changes over the year.

While progress has been made in governance and leadership and on supporting talented fencers, there has been limited progress in increasing the number of people who fence regularly.

At its January 20114 board meeting, Sport England agreed that British Fencing will receive a total award of £1.333 million which includes a further one-year investment of £250,0000 to support its participation programmes, an increased investment in talent of £750,0000 over three years and £330,0000 for core costs over three years.

The conditions attached to this investment include:

  • Recruitment of a new CEO and Development Director
  • Completion of robust market analysis to understand better the needs and motivations of fencers and potential fencers
  • Development of a revised strategy for increasing the number of people who fence regularly.


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change in our investment in the Football Association, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

Funding to focus on 16-19 year olds and talented disabled and female players.

The nation’s most popular team sport will benefit from £30 million of Sport England’s funding over the next four years to get even more people enjoying a kick-about.

Since 2008 the number of people playing football every week has risen to over 2.1 million; however, the sport has struggled to keep young players in the game. Significant investment will be directed through the Football Association to keep them playing during their teenage years.

The FA will use a range of programmes to encourage 14-16 year olds and 16-19 year olds to continue playing football. These programmes will include small-sided after-school sessions; intra-school leagues; social-based competitions and further education and college leagues.

Small-sided football, recreational leagues, kick-abouts and social based competitions will all be developed to provide more flexible ways for older players (over 26) to get involved and stay playing football.

The funding includes a £5 million investment to develop the next generation of talented disabled and female players and will specifically improve skills through a greater emphasis on coach development and competition.

Facility improvement will also be a focus, with investment helping to upgrade sand-based astro-turf pitches to 3G ‘rubber crumb’ surfaces used for training, coach education, small-sided and 11-a-side football. The investment into these facilities will underpin the number of different programmes being rolled out to drive participation.

A sum of £40 million has been set aside for investment in football and multi-sport facilities via the Football Foundation. The investment is subject to Sport England board approval and will be finalised in early 2013.

Director of Sport, Phil Smith said: “Our £30m investment into football reflects our ambition to get even more people enjoying the game. The targeted approach to get more young people playing will ensure that football remains a lifelong sport of choice for many, while high-quality facilities and improved coaching will help get more disabled people and women enjoying the sport.”


Sport England backs Paralympic legacy for goalball

The Paralympic sport of goalball is to receive £750,000 over the next four years to build on the momentum of this summer’s home Games.

Building on the current foundation of a small number of players, Goalball UK will aim to get many more women and men involved in the sport, mainly from among the two million or so visually impaired people in this country.

The sport aims to improve the structure of its existing clubs and to create several new clubs, with London a particular focus of its expansion plans.

£200,000 of the investment will be aimed at increasing the number and level of England’s top young players through the creation of three regional centres across England. The long-term investment will help Great Britain’s ultimate ambitions of Paralympic success.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Goalball has a good opportunity to achieve steady growth by maintaining the right balance between building the supply of coaches and officials, and attracting people to the sport. We regard our talent funding as a long-term investment in the future of this exciting Paralympic sport.”


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change in our investment in the England Golf Partnership, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

Sport England has announced a £13 million investment into the England Golf Partnership (EGP) to get more people playing golf and develop talented young players.

The County Golf Partnerships ( CGPs ) which bring together the local golf bodies will remain at the heart of the EGP’s participation plans. They will deliver a range of activities under the “Get into Golf” brand. 

This will include programmes to attract people to the game as new players or encourage those who have previously played back into the sport. The EGP will focus on the older age-groups, but will also look to bring more women, disabled and younger people into the sport.

The already successful Golf Roots initiative will be expanded to provide opportunities for children and young people between the ages of 14 and 25.

Substantial investment of £3.3 million will be used to continue to develop talent across the sport and fund an expansion of the County Academy Programme.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Phil Smith said: “This investment reflects the progress the EGP has made in getting more people playing golf and developing talent within the sport. Whilst there are challenges in keeping people playing golf in the current economic climate, we are confident that the EGP will continue to demonstrate leadership and innovation within the sport to ensure the number of people playing grows.”


Gymnastics to receive £11.78 million of funding to keep young people in sport

Sport England has committed funding worth £11.78 million to gymnastics to help the sport capitalise on its most successful ever Olympic Games.

The investment will support talent development, fund new or refurbished facilities and programmes designed to keep more children and young people involved in the sport, including offering activities like freestyle gymnastics.

Gymnastics is an unusual sport due to the young age of most participants. Participation peaks early, with children dropping out of the sport as early as nine. Over the age of 18, the sport largely involves just competitive participants and trampolining.

For this reason, British Gymnastics is the only governing body where Sport England will invest its funding into under-14s. This is to ensure that retention programmes have the maximum impact, as many more 11 year olds are involved in the sport than 14 year olds. If our funding was focused solely on 14+ participation, British Gymnastics would have to acquire new and former participants – a more difficult and expensive prospect.

British Gymnastics planned activities over the next four years include:

  • A Gymnastics for All ( GfA ) programme including Dance, Display, Socialise, an initiative developed in direct response to feedback which focuses on fun and social fitness activities such as TeamGym, cheerleading and freestyle
  • Club13 – a club-within-a-club network that caters to the needs and interests of 12-18-year-olds
  • Ten Disability Club Hub Networks which will support coach education and competitions for disabled gymnasts
  • Trampolining – ensuring leisure centres recognise the value of trampolining as an income stream while reducing the perceived risk level
  • Workforce development – supporting, training and retaining coaches, volunteers and officials

The award includes a £1 million investment in talent development. This programme includes the appointment of 10 regional co-ordinators and increased competition opportunities for talented gymnasts just below the World Class Performance programme level.

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Sport said: “Our investment in British Gymnastics shows the importance of not adopting a one-size fits all approach to sport investment. We need to understand and respond to the specific circumstances and challenges of each sport to ensure the public money we are investing is spent wisely.

"For many young people, gymnastics will give them their first experience of how the format of a sport they enjoy can evolve to meet their changing needs as they grow older. Our investment in British Gymnastics reflects this, if they get their retention programmes right they will be helping more young people create sporting habits for life from a young age.”


Handball gets a boost with Sport England investment

The sport that caught the nation’s imagination this summer, has secured £1.2 million of funding to help it capitalise on the interest generated by the Olympic Games

Across Northern Europe handball is a popular sport played at professional level, but in England it is still in its infancy with only a few thousand regular players. It has to compete for indoor space with several more established sports and, while the attention generated by the Games is welcome, the small governing body, England Handball, does not currently have the infrastructure to ensure supply meets demand.

Over the next four years, funding worth £1.2 million will help to develop the governing body and the sport.

This includes the appointment of a CEO and senior staff who will run the organisation on a day-to-day basis, as well as four strategic programmes:

  • A club and community programme designed to recruit and retain players through taster sessions, working with schools, colleges and partners such as StreetGames and Premier League 4 Sport as well as growing the number of handball clubs
  • Structured competitions in schools, colleges, universities and clubs which convert informal participants into regular players
  • Workforce development to create and support a network of leaders, coaches and tutors from entry level through to performance
  • A sustainable talent programme including talent identification and player development as well as keeping talented players within the sport by moving them into coaching

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Sport, said: “Handball’s profile has been transformed this year and the sport has a real opportunity to grow. It’s proving particularly attractive to younger people who are keen to try out this edgy new contact sport. England Handball now faces the challenge of turning interest into regular play.”


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change to our investment in the England Hockey Board, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

Hockey has secured significant investment to continue the recent growth in the number of people playing the sport.

Over the next four years, Sport England will provide £12 million to support the grassroots game and the development of gifted young players with Olympic ambitions. This includes £2 million to invest in hockey facilities, mainly for the refurbishment of artificial grass pitches.

A £2.1 million investment in talent development will help England Hockey to make further improvements to its programme to spot and nurture young players with potential. An even greater focus on coaching will see talented players at all levels benefitting from working with excellent coaches. The sport will also do more to help players not destined for the very top to make the shift back into the community game.

Building on its successful Hockey Nation campaign to maximise the impact of this summer’s Olympics, England Hockey will continue to work to raise the profile of the sport and encourage new and lapsed players to get involved.

Funding will help keep more hockey players in the sport, especially during adolescence when they hit the 14-16 age group when many youngsters drop out of the game. There will also be more work to target university and college students by providing opportunities for those both interested in playing the traditional 11-a-side game and the informal small-sided game of Rush Hockey.

To benefit people aged 22 and over, England Hockey has four priorities:

  • Driving up the quality of clubs to help ensure existing players are getting a quality playing experience
  • Expanding masters hockey for the 35+ competitive player
  • Attracting former female players to return to the sport through Back to Hockey
  • Offering informal opportunities to play the sport through Rush Hockey

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Hockey has made really good progress in the past 18 months and we are confident that this sport can build further momentum over the next four years by supporting both the 11-a-side and informal versions of the sport. This is a sport that caters equally well for women and men and we welcome plans to do more to open up opportunities for disabled players.”


£6.1 million investment in sporting legacy for judo

More people can look forward to getting involved in judo after Sport England announced significant investment of funding over the next four years.

More than £6 million, invested through the British Judo Association, will help the sport’s grassroots and the sporting journey of talented youngsters inspired by the Olympic exploits of Gemma Gibbons and Karina Bryant.

At the heart of the investment are plans to persuade more teenagers to stay in the sport after being introduced to it at a young age. Judo membership figures show that numbers drop sharply between the ages of 14 and 17. Research shows that people are far more likely to stick with the sport once they’ve achieved their second grading belt so this will be a key priority.

Disabled and non-disabled young people who show great potential on the mat will benefit from £1.5 million of Sport England investment in the British Judo Association’s talent development programme. High-quality coaching will be offered through the sport’s network of clubs with the best young athletes progressing to the England Development squad.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Plenty of young people are getting a taste of judo, but too few are choosing to stay in the sport so it’s vital that more is done to capture their enthusiasm and support their progress within the sport.”


Lacrosse receives £3.4 million funding from Sport England

The English Lacrosse Association ( ELA ) will use Sport England’s investment to seize momentum in terms of encouraging people into the sport and build a successful talent activity programme.

Ways in which the ELA plan to achieve their aims are through:

Increasing its club membership by 45% through a further expansion of its two main offers:

  • INTO – a format that lends itself to new players wanting to play an informal version of the sport
  • The formal Field version of the game with specific codes for men and women played through the existing club networks.

As well as increasing the numbers of people taking part in clubs it will also increase the overall number of clubs. The National Club expansion programme aims to increase the number and geographical spread of community lacrosse clubs, improve and enhance structures in new and existing lacrosse hubs to be centres of community participation, and identify universities, clubs and schools to achieve performance club status to support the talent pathway.

The National Education programme aims to make sure there are enough teachers and community leaders with lacrosse teaching skills to support growing numbers of people entering the sport.

In terms of nurturing talented lacrosse players, the National Talent Identification & Development programme will ensure more talented and quality-assured players into the national squad system, raise standards of team preparation, and improve the performance of England teams in international competition.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “The English Lacrosse Association has demonstrated a good use of insight and market intelligence to produce a great plan for growth for the sport. We are pleased to be backing it.”

Modern Pentathlon

£900,000 legacy investment into modern pentathlon

The development of talented athletes will be the focus for Pentathlon GB, which has secured £900,000 legacy investment from Sport England.

Building on the medal success at London 2012, £600,000 will be used to develop the England talent pathway in this multi-discipline event-based sport.

Pentathlon GB will use a number of programmes to support talented pentathletes by:

  • Keeping athletes engaged through developing the club and coaching environment at different levels and in certain disciplines in conjunction with a competitions programme.
  • Providing innovative and challenging opportunities to retain competitors who do not reach World Class Programme standard and are liable to leave the sport.

The talent pathway will have three tiers starting with building competition standards revolving around swimming and running. The second and third tier will include a regional tier of 60 athletes and a national talent pool for 30 athletes. There will also be additional support for the top 12 athletes with the greatest potential to progress to the world class talent squad.

Sport England Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said. “As the sport revolves around events and a number of different disciplines, it makes sense that our investment focuses on developing talent. This funding will help athletes progress through the competition structures from local to regional and national level.”


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change in our investment in the British Mountaineering Council, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

Sport England’s investment has two aims – to increase the number of people taking part in indoor and outdoor versions of the sport while helping more talented young climbers get to the top.

Almost 100,000 people regularly take part in mountaineering – a sport which includes indoor wall climbing, outdoor climbing and hill walking – and there has a been a gradual increase in the number of climbers over the last four years. Growth has been driven by young people aged 16-25 and is mostly male.

The sport has a good opportunity to tap into the trend for personal challenges and experiences that are about more than just the sport. However, its biggest challenge is sustaining 14-25 year old participation in outdoor forms of the sport in an economic climate where local authority budget cuts are affecting the operation of outdoor education centres.

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has responded with a plan that brings together a range of organisations involved with the sport, including clubs, commercial operators of indoor walls, and national training boards.

The plan will support indoor participation through a range of activities including:

  • Technical and legal support for indoor climbing wall operators
  • Resources and materials for new climbers
  • Co-ordinated training materials for provider and courses for coaches
  • The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme for young people aged 14-18

Outdoor activity aims to persuade more people to try hill walking and climbing through the Britain on Foot campaign, and to keep coming back once they have tried it. Activity includes:

  • Resources to support new hill walkers
  • Standardised training materials and courses for climbers
  • Specific activities to help indoor participants make the transition to regular outdoor participation, including work with focus clubs and the Mountain Training Awards

BMC plans to appoint four regional managers to support this work and to develop its use of social and broadcast media as a means of promoting the sport to young people further.

Talented climbers will be supported through more climbing competitions and coaches. There will be seven regional academies supporting over 125 talented competition climbers.

Director of Sport for Sport England, Phil Smith said: “The British Mountaineering Council submitted a clear and logical plan, which with its strong track record for delivery is reflected in our investment. The organisation has improved its understanding of its market and customers – particularly young people – over the last three years, and this should help it drive the sport onwards and upwards. “


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change to our investment in England Netball, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

England Netball has benefited from an increase in funding after demonstrating continuous growth in the sport over the last four years, and remaining hugely popular with women.

Almost 160,000 people play netball every week, that is over 40,000 more than in 2008/09.  With this new £25 million investment it is set to grow by further still.

 England Netball will use Sport England’s funding to boost grassroots by: 

  • Persuading teenage girls to take up  low cost/ low commitment netball offer through the I Love Netball campaign. The programme is primarily aimed at helping girls move from playing the game in school to playing in a community club. It includes setting up satellite clubs, working to increase the quality of existing clubs and providing competition. .
  • Helping women to return to the sport after a significant lifestyle change – having a baby for example – through the Back to Netball programme.
  • Persuading women who want to take up netball if offered at low cost, low commitment and at their convenience through flexible pay and play and informal opportunities based in the workplace or at universities

Providing incentives for committed, regular adult netballers through network clubs and leagues providing training and competitive opportunities (increase quality and quantity), offers such as FitNet (a new fitness based product) and 20 commercial leagues.

Netball is one of three sports that Sport England supports both talented and elite players with investments of £3.5 million and £5 million respectively. Activities include: 

  • Developing individual talented 12-to 19-year olds
  • Providing 15-to 34-year olds who are committed and competitive with more local league competitions.
  • Investing further in the Netball Superleague to support England Senior Athletes, giving them more Superleague standard matches as well as additional cups and tournaments, enhanced training and technical development through training centres, various u21 international competitions, squad training and tours linked to competitions.
  • Giving elite players more playing time against the top three nations and increasing  the number of test matches from six to 12 to prepare the England team effectively to reach the final of both the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 World Championships.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “England Netball has already proved it can increase the number of women playing at grassroots level  and now has produced a comprehensive and robust plan for the development of its sport over the next four years. We are confident netball will continue to reach many more people and achieve success at elite level in future years.” 


£2.3 million Sport England investmeto help orienteering find its way.

Sport England is investing £2.3 million into orienteering to help the sport find its niche amongst mass-participation events.

The funding to the British Orienteering Federation ( BOF ) is a response to the governing body’s development over the last three years. Changes to BOF’sinfrastructure and the proposed creation of new on-demand versions of the sport will help to open up new opportunities for growth.

Around 12,000 people take part in orienteering at least once a month and there are likely to be many more participants who are running regularly as they train for each orienteering event. The sport is attractive to people seeking personal challenges, a change from their usual running-related training and an opportunity to use the latest technology.

BOF’s plan is based on a strategic vision – More People, More Places, More Podiums. It pulls together a range of planning activity including:

  • Community O+ - a range of focused programmes designed to start and keep people taking part. These include an introduction to the sport, an informal and social Running Challenge for younger people; Park Orienteering for the family market; and a Student Starter offer for 16-25 year olds.
  • Virtual Orienteering – on-demand orienteering for recreational runners that blends mobile running apps with traditional fixed point orienteering.
  • Events and competitions – a series of local and national events aimed at retaining participants through increased challenge and progression and a new UK Orienteering League.

The plan also covers talent development and the recruitment and support of a paid and volunteer workforce capable of delivering a full programme of events.

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Sport said: “This investment will enable the British Orienteering Federation to continue the expansion of its events programme and explore the potential of technology to enhance the experience of the sport."


Over the next four years, Sport England is investing £2.2 million into rounders.

Although a relatively small sport, it is easy to play and the majority of its 20,000 regular players are women.

Working with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, England Rounders, has developed a number of activities to increase its appeal. They include:

  • Chuck it, Whack it, Leg it campaign promoting rounders as a social activity for women and young people
  • Club development toolkits and the creation of local leagues and competitions to convert give-it-a-go-players into club members
  • Return to Rounders initiatives targeting students and mums
  • Offering the sport through various educational environments includingSchool Games, satellite clubs, and university
  • Inclusive Rounders – an adapted version of the sport that has been piloted amongst disabled young people and which has potential to be adapted to appeal to disabled adults

Sport England’s Director of Sport Lisa O’Keefe said: “Rounders is an easy sport to play. The low-cost of equipment, the social focus, and the low level of entry makes it very attractive. We believe that by focusing its efforts on the right target audiences, rounders can help more people – especially women and young people – create lifelong sporting habits.”


On Thursday 27 March 2014 we announced a change to our investment in British Rowing, you can read this announcement here.

The information below refers to our previous investment plans,  we will add further details of the new plans to this page as they become available.

Using Sport England’s four-year funding, British Rowing will expand its rowing offer to reach more people, particularly young and disabled people, and help gym-based rowers explore rowing on the sea, rivers and lakes.

British Rowing will launch Rowability, a new rowing programme aimed at helping more disabled people into the sport. Partnerships have been developed with disability organisations to establish five new rowing centres with the appropriate equipment and coaching being made available.

To reach people who would like to row but do not know how to get involved, British Rowing will expand successful programmes such as Explore Rowing, which offers informal ways to get involved with structured rowing routes and helps those who want to become competitive find a club.

Indoor Rowing aims to increase the length of time participants use indoor rowing machines per session. In the last year British Rowing has forged new relationships with leisure providers in the indoor rowing market to open up more opportunities to influence rowing in gyms.

Helping people move from the indoor gym-based rowing to outdoors is crucial if rowing is to encourage people to take up the sport more regularly and take part for longer. British Rowing will tackle this problem by introducing people to different outdoor environments through specialised watersport centres.

For young people, British Rowing has developed a number of programmes including:

  • Indoor Rowing – giving youngsters a positive first experience of indoor rowing through school games competition formats
  • Generating the Habit – a skills programme across both water and indoor rowing which is linked to the Explore Rowing skills programme for adults

British Rowing will also invest in club improvement projects including enhanced clubhouses, changing rooms, boat storage extension or refurbishment, and slipway/pontoon development so that club members have comfortable, state of the art places to train. It will also provide equipment packages which include stable rowing boats and trailers.

And finally, growing the number of talented young athletes coming through the ranks will be a priority for British Rowing. It will seek to capitalise on the success of the Games by providing additional locations for talent support, offer more intensive support to rowers with the greatest potential to progress to world class level and enhance the domestic competition programme to align with world class selection. This programme will also provide a formalised adaptive talent system to develop potential rowing Paralympians.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “British Rowing has had a fantastic summer, with a plethora of medals at the Games. With our substantial investment we are looking for them to get the same level of success that they have had at elite level at the grassroots. We welcome the focus on engaging young people, getting gym rowers to get on the water, and focusing on enabling disabled people to take part and enjoy this sport.”

Rugby League

Total investment of £17.5 million for the Rugby Football League to tackle the grassroots game. £4.5 million for talented player development

Using Sport England’s funding, the Rugby Football League ( RFL ) will focus on getting more people playing rugby league and use the staging of the 2013 World Cup to capture more interest in the sport.

The four-year investment will use five programmes to develop the club and league structures to keep more people playing the contact version of their game and to expand their current touch programme.

The RFL will use a number of different initiatives to encourage people to continue playing the sport or take it up for the first time. These include:

  • Improving club development and competition in Conference and Regional leagues, many of which are located in deprived areas
  • Offering touch rugby league players a different form of the game, some of which will be delivered through Powerleague sites
  • Supporting higher and further education institutions in offering rugby league and touch rugby league.

The RFL has recently switched its main competitive season to the summer to provide a better experience for players and to avoid disruptions to the playing schedule through poor weather. To reduce the number of games cancelled further still, the RFL will use £1 million of capital funding to continue with its programme to improve and renovate pitches.

£4.5 million of Sport England’s funding will be used to support the development of talented players, creating better alignment with the Super League clubs and smoothing the path between the transition between the community and professional games.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Changing the competition season and focusing on club and league development are sensible ways to increase the number of people playing rugby league. The plans for the contact version of the game will help to keep more people in the game while the expansion into touch will help attract new players, and those who have less time, to an exciting game.”

Rugby Union

Rugby Union targets grassroots participation with £20 million legacy investment

Using Sport England’s funding, the Rugby Football Union ( RFU ) will seek to capitalise on hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2015 to capture more interest in the sport.

The funding, which will be used over a four year period, will fund nine programmes that build on the RFU’s current support for clubs, schools, colleges and universities and are aligned to the RFU’s four key priorities in the run up to the World Cup

  • Holding on to more players within the game
  • Broadening the reach of rugby into more schools, colleges and universities
  • Improving the playing environments to become more attractive and accessible environments that retain more current and attract new participants
  • Enhancing talent pathways within the women and girls game

During the period 2013-17, the RFU aims to increase the number of state secondary schools offering regular competitive rugby for 14-16 year olds. It will work with targeted rugby clubs to identify appropriate interventions to develop relationships and engagement with schools from an early age.

Through investing in further education colleges, the RFU will aim to increase the number of 16-year-olds who continue to play the game, ensuring appropriate offers are in place and that local rugby clubs are engaged. Those who go on to university will have increased opportunities to play through the strengthening of intra-mural provision, increasing the availability of, and accessibility to, non representative rugby on a season round basis.

Ensuring players continue to participate after they leave education will also be a priority for the RFU . They will focus on working with clubs to broaden their offer, increasing the opportunity for more players of this age group to play rugby, with a particular emphasis on an offer that allows young players who wish to engage on a season round basis.

The RFU will expand its successful Touch Rugby programme – the informal version of the game - by providing opportunities for people to play Touch on a casual pay and play basis. They will also look to establish a franchise model with local clubs and higher education institutions, as well as developing Touchleagues ensuring access to more competition for those who want it. The RFU will also make Touch Rugby more inclusive to disabled people, specifically targeting those with a hearing impairment and those with learning disabilities.

The RFU will invest £4 million to develop the growing women and girls’ side of the game by ensuring more clubs, coaches and competition. At an elite level England is currently ranked number one in the world, and investment during the first two years of the funding cycle, will be made to maintain this status.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Rugby Union has a real opportunity in the build-up to the 2014 Women's World Cup and hosting the 2015 World Cup to galvanise people’s enthusiasm for the game. We are delighted to be working with the RFU to turn that interest into regular participation by investing in clubs, colleges and others to provide opportunities to play the sport.”


Sailing secures £9.3 million legacy investment from Sport England

The Royal Yachting Association ( RYA ) will use Sport England’s investment to take advantage of the momentum generated by the Olympic and Paralympics to encourage more people into the sport.

The RYA will invest in the following activities to get more people involved by:

  • Expanding the On Board programme - which introduces new young people into the sport by teaching them new skills in a safe controlled environment.
  • Investing in the Active Marina programme, designed to build competence and confidence in marina berth holders. The programme engages with a large number of people who sail recreationally to develop their skills and confidence and give them opportunities to sail more frequently.
  • Continuing the successful Sailability programme which supports disabled people to sail through specialist provision at Sailability Foundation sites.

Sport England’s investment includes £3.5 million to support the development of young talented sailors. To help find the next Ben Ainslie, the RYA offers an England Talent programme which aims to ensure there is a constant stream of talented sailors who are ready and well prepared to progress onto the British world class programme in the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. The programme covers a number of elements including:

  • Developing the existing network of Volvo RYA Champion Clubs which identify and nurture young talented sailors in their early years in the sport
  • Enhancing partnerships with Junior Class Associations to provide junior racing and training programmes and optimal race training environments
  • The creation of six to ten regional high performance clubs
  • Training squads and support at regional and England national junior level
  • Exposing young talented sailors to appropriate international regatta experiences
  • Support to develop the coaches working with young talented sailors

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “The Royal Yachting Association has a proven track record of getting talented sailors through the ranks and we are pleased that it will continue this work with this plan. What is also encouraging are the plans for disability sailing and the ambition to reach out beyond the traditional sailing heartlands to a get more diversity in the sport. We look forward to seeing its progress in these areas."


Sport England announces four-year investment in shooting.

Sport England is to invest £1 million in the sport of shooting over the next four years.

The money will be invested through British Shooting with two key aims - helping talented young shooters to be the best they can be and getting more disabled people involved in the sport.

Significant investment will be targeted to increase participation by disabled people who already represent 25% of recreational shooting, leading to:

  • More opportunities for disabled people to take part in target shooting on equal terms with non-disabled people
  • More integrated and inclusive target shooting competitions
  • Better advice and support for clubs wishing to develop shooting for disabled people.

Sport England talent investment will ensure the right structures are in place to identify and nurture young people with the potential to compete in the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Commonwealth Games. £220,000 of funding will help to meet the different needs of shotgun, small bore and full bore rifle shooters.

As well as investing in coaching, British Shooting plans to work more closely with cadet groups and scouts and guides to tempt more young people take up shooting sports.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “British Shooting has demonstrated a clear focus in seeking our backing to boost participation among disabled people and to help the next generation of talented shooters. This is a sensible approach that will offer the best return on our investment.”


Snowsport races to £1.5 million of Sport England funding

Sport England has announced its largest ever investment into Snowsport England over the next four years to increase the number of people regularly skiing and snowboarding at facilities in England, and developing the pathway for talented athletes.

Whilst most skiing and snowboarding takes place on foreign holidays, investment is being used to increase the numbers of people doing it in England, with a focus on 16 centres across the country.

Snowsport England will use its programme Go Ski Go Board ( GSGB) to increase the number of people regularly skiing and snowboarding, GSGB will target schools, colleges, universities and wider community groups and includes running six week sessions for skiers and snowboarders over the age of 14 and providing them with a route to stay involved.

Over £200,000 will be focused on establishing a clear talent pathway in England for freestyle disciplines including Freeski (Slopestyle) and Freestyle Snowboard in the lead up to Sochi 2014. The ultimate aim will be to help drive more athletes into British programmes through developing delivery centres with clear links to local clubs and facilities.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Whilst snowsport is a relatively small sport in England, this investment will help develop the club and community infrastructure to help more people enjoy more regular skiing and snowboarding. The money being invested into the talent pathway will help develop our talented athletes as we look forward to Sochi 2014 and beyond.”

Squash and Racketball

In December 20112, Sport England committed £13.5 million to squash and racketball over the period 20013-17.

This included:

  • £4.98 million to England Squash and Racketball’s (ESR) four-year talent and elite programmes
  • A one-year investment of £2.5 million into its participation programmes.

While the ESR’s talent and elite programmes remain at a notably high standard, there has been limited progress on the participation agenda and the number of people playing the game regularly continues to decline.

Sport England is therefore investing ££3.37 million in ESR over the next year, including

  • £1.25 million for its talent and elite programmes. This includes a 20 per cent reduction
  • (£355,000) for participation programmes to reflect its poor performance in increasing the number of regular players.

 This is subject to the following conditions:

  • Rapid and significant improvement in leadership
  • A complete review off the ESR’s current participation strategy and current development staffing structure by 1 October
  • The demonstration of a sound understanding of the market and consumer trends within the sport, with particular focus on the player motivations.


In December 2012, Sport England invested the following amounts in the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA):

  • £6 million over the four year period to support talented athletes across the five aquatic disciplines (swimming, diving, disability swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo)
  • £3.5 million for one year only on participation

This was part of a £20 million commitment from Sport England to the sport of swimming over the period 2013-17.

While the ASA has developed a good system to help delivery in partnership with a number of major operators and local authorities, Sport England has not seen enough evidence that the organisation has the market understanding and insight into how to change behaviours in swimming to make a long term commitment. Whilst there has been some growth within the sport in the past year, there is limited evidence that this is the result of activity by the ASA.

Sport England will therefore:

Make a further one-year investment of £3.5 million in the ASA to increase the number of people who swim regularly.

The conditions attached to the investment include:

  • Developing significantly improved insight
  • A stronger, more comprehensive plan for growing participation in swimming
  • Stronger leadership and focus on participation. 

Table tennis

In December 2012 Sport England invested £2.27 million in the Table Tennis England for one year only. This covered both talent and participation programmes.

Table Tennis England has made good progress over the last year, and organisational changes have provided the organisation with a strong foundation on which to develop and deliver an effective participation and talent strategy.

Sport England will therefore invest a further £2.3 million in Table Tennis England over the next year for its participation and talent programmes, and in recognition of the progress made has committed a further £1.2 million for core funding up to 2017. 

The conditions attached to the investment include: 

  • The formation of actionable insights about target customers’ needs and motivations to create compelling products/services for each target customer group
  • The creation of national and local delivery plans that drive strategic priorities
  • The use of effective partnerships to support in the delivery of participation outcomes, particularly in relation to recreational table tennis

Sport England has also agreed a further £250,000 to be awarded to Sing London in 2014-15 to continue its delivery of the successful recreational table tennis programe Ping! Further investments of £250,000 in 2015/16 and in 20016/17 have been earmarked for the project, with the intention that Ping! should be integrated into Table Tennis England’s recreational table tennis strategy by 2015/16.


Talented taekwondo fighters get backing from Sport England with £1.2 million legacy investment

GB Taekwondo (formerly STUK) is a performance-centred organisation with a mission to become the world leader in talent development as well as in elite performance. With this latest funding Sport England will help GB Taekwondo achieve this goal.  

GB Taekwondo is planning to use the investment in the following ways:

  • Developing a high quality England coach career path
  • Establishing a clear regional and national structure for Juniors (U18) and Cadets (U15)
  • Improved talent identification

GB Taekwondo is the talent-only body for the sport and therefore does not run any grassroots activity.

This investment from Sport England represents a significant increase compared to the 2009-13 funding cycle, reflecting GB Taekwondo’s excellent track record during 2009-13. The award also reflects plans to expand the talent programme producing greater breadth as well as increased quality.

GB Taekwondo is working with other Olympic combat sports (boxing, fencing, judo and wrestling) to explore opportunities for cross-sport working to increase impact and efficiency. The initial results of this work are expected in March 2013.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “GB Taekwondo has already proved it can effectively nurture talent and the increase in funding from Sport England reflects our confidence in the NGB to deliver on its promise again.”


In December 2012, Sport England invested the following amounts in the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA):

  • £2 million for participation for one year only
  • £360,000 for its eduucation programmes and satellite club development for one year only
  • £1 million for tennis faacilities for one year only
  • £3.75 million to support talented players over a four-year period

This was part of a £17.4 million commitment by Sport England to the sport of tennis over four years, with a limited commitment to the governing body due to a poor plan for growing participation.

Good progress has been made by the LTA over the past 12 months. The LTA leadership is now firmly committed to growing participation and the LTA’s understanding of the tennis market has significantly improved. However, it is relatively early days in applying this new learning and the decline in the number of people playing tennis regularly reported in December reflects the need to deliver on a larger scale.

As a result, Sport England will:

  • Make a further one-year investment of £1.9 million for participation. This includes a reduction of 20 per cent for its participation funding for 16-25 year olds to reflect a failure to achieve the participation target for this age group.
  • Support the LTA's education / satellite club activity for a further three years at £360,000 per year in acknowledgement of the successful work and good results seen through these programmes
  • Make a three-year capital investment of £1 million per year for the next three years on the basis of confidence in the LTA to deliver capital projects that will positively impact on participation and the longer-term nature of these projects
  • Invest the money de-committed from the 16-25 year old participation programme (£114,000) into a pilot project with a local authority focusing on park court usage

The conditions attached to this investment include the implementation of a credible delivery model for parks that demonstrates sufficient scale and partnerships to impact upon overall participation in tennis.


Triathlon riding high as Sport England backs ambitious legacy plans.

The sport is to receive £7.5 million to grow sport and find the next generation of would-be Brownlees.

Four months after the Brownlee brothers’ Olympic excellence transformed the profile of triathlon, Sport England has backed the sport’s plans to continue its rapid expansion.

Individual race starts have grown by 50% over the past four years, with big increases among women and men. With £7.5 million of Sport England investment, Triathlon England aims to continue that rate of participation growth over the next four years, as well as supporting talented young triathletes.

£2.2 million of Sport England’s investment will fund talent development; including a new paratriathlon talent support programme after the sport was included in the 2016 Paralympic Games. The aim is to integrate the paratriathlon programme at a regional level with the existing talent programme to provide athletes with access to high-quality coaching and support. Improvements to the overall talent programme include additional coaching time, access to more competitions and improved links with the UK Sport funded World Class programme.

Working closely with the commercial sector, Triathlon England’s plans to increase participation in the sport centre on improving the quality of events and a strong understanding of the existing and potential triathletes, and hence how people’s loyalty can be built and maintained.

Sport England’s investment will support:

  • A low cost events programme providing triathlon, duathlon and aquathlons to help address perceived cost barriers to getting involved
  •  A major events programme focusing on areas that don’t currently have large-scale triathlons, aiming for an exceptional athlete experience in iconic locations
  • Work to increase the number of triathlon clubs in England and to boost capacity within existing clubs
  • Partnerships with leisure/gym professionals to deliver informal training networks for triathletes who are not members of a club

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “We have significantly increased our investment in triathlon based on the sport’s excellent track record and strong plans for the next four years.

“We believe this sport has excellent potential for further growth, among the growing band of people seeking a varied and flexible sport for health and fitness benefits.”


£ 5.1 million investment in volleyball

Sport England announces funding for grassroots volleyball and to support talented young players

Volleyball players are to benefit from £5.1 million of Sport England investment in Volleyball England over the next four years.

The exposure of beach volleyball and sitting volleyball during the Olympics and Paralympics has given the sport a real opportunity boost the number of people playing the game.

There is strong potential to get more disabled people playing sitting volleyball and this will be a major focus for Volleyball England, from junior community clubs right through to talented adults playing at a national level.

More than 90% of Sport England’s investment in volleyball will be targeted at young people aged between 14 and 25, to halt the decline in the number of people playing.

Volleyball England’s participation plans include:

  • Let’s Play Volleyball which is focused on helping 14- to 16-year-olds make the shift from playing volleyball at school to taking part in the community. This will include investment in new satellite clubs on school sites
  • More opportunities for students at university and college to get involved in the sport, supported by a recruitment programme for more student volunteers
  • Expanding the Go Spike programme to help local clubs and commercial providers provide more recreational opportunities as well as promoting the beach facilities supported by previous Sport England investment.

Volleyball England’s talent programme will focus on indoor volleyball to increase the number of players benefiting from high-quality daily and monthly training, feeding into Great Britain programmes for both indoor and beach programmes and includes £100,000 specifically for sitting volleyball.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Volleyball is an exciting sport that is, at some stage, played by most young people. London 2012 gave all forms of volleyball an incredible shop window, this award will provide Volleyball England with the opportunity to convert increased interest in the sport into more disabled and non-disabled people regularly playing volleyball."

Water Skiing

Waterskiing secures £1.7 million legacy investment from Sport England

British Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation ( BWSW) will use Sport England’s investment to encourage more people into the sport.

The NGB’s focus is on building on previous success whilst adapting its offer to extend their reach to more adults and people with disabilities.

The plan contains four programmes which are designed to improve work with clubs, facilities, coaches, volunteers and other partners to benefit the 14+ age group, including talented athletes, such as:

  • Cutting Edge will be expanded to provide, for the first time, a formal offer to attract new adult water skiers, and adapted to appeal to disabled people by increasing the number of accessible facilities including investing into more straight line cable systems as well as ensuring priority clubs have appropriately qualified coaches to meet the needs of disabled water skiers.
  • The coaching and education programme expands the existing coaching structure to ensure there is a stepping stone to Level 2 for those that want to progress and will provide disability and discipline-specific modules to ensure more people have the skills to coach disabled people in the sport.
  • Supporting clubs, ski schools and facilities to ensure they have the skills, support, relationships and resources needed to successfully grow the sport at a local level.  

In terms of nurturing more talented athletes in the sport, the focus is on broadening the scope and quality of talent across the disciplines of cable wakeboard, boat wakeboard and tournament water-skiing. Talent programmes will deliver a number of discipline specific training camps, competition support, significant age grade European and world titled events, coaching support and selective sport medicine/physiotherapy support to the most talented athletes.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “British Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation has produced a strong plan for appealing to more adults and to disabled people, enabling more coaches to reach a higher level in the sport and helping those that show promise to realise their potential.”


Weightlifting flexes its muscle thanks to increased funding from Sport England

An award of £1.03 million will help weightlifting expand beyond its traditional markets over the next four years. The funding will be used to develop the sport and its governing body, British Weightlifting.

According to Sport England’s Active People Survey, more than 90% of the 86,000 people who take part in weightlifting regularly are male and 60% are over 26 years old. Until recently British Weightlifting’s primary focus has been on developing competitive Olympic weightlifting and Paralympic Powerlifting.

However the market appears to be changing. The governing body’s research shows that increasing numbers of people use weightlifting as a method of training for other activities, while there are opportunities for power-related sports such as rowing and rugby to use weightlifting methods as part of their training.

British Weightlifting is now changing its structure so it is more able to get more people into the sport and support talented weightlifters. This includes the appointment of regional development officers, part-funded by external partners with similar objectives. Its four year plan includes:

  • Creating an online competition called the Strength and Power Series where lifters can compete and test themselves against participants across the country without travelling
  • Developing existing clubs while establishing new ones, by linking its own funding to Sport England’s Small Grants programme, at the rate of eight a year
  • Creating new competition formats to suit specific target markets while recruiting new officials and expanding its officiating awards programme
  • Supporting talented weightlifters and powerlifters with four regional centres, closely linked to the UK Sport funded World Class Lifting programme

Underpinning all this activity will be workforce development and training for all volunteers, coaches and officials.

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England Director of Sport said: “As well as being a sport in its own right, weightlifting provides an important foundation for many other sports, and therefore it has an important role to play in creating a sporting habit for life. Our funding recognises British Weightlifting’s focused plan that expands the current programme, strengthens talent development and provides a clear progression route through to the World Class Performance programme for talented lifters."

Wheelchair Basketball

Sport England announces biggest ever investment in wheelchair basketball

Sport England today revealed a £2 million investment in wheelchair basketball to help more disabled people take up the sport and build the foundations of future Paralympic success.

The four-year funding is more than twice Sport England’s previous investment in British Wheelchair Basketball.

Building on the inspirational success of the Paralympics Games, the sport has ambitious expansion plans, opening up opportunities across the country. These include:

  • More clubs and coaches in universities and colleges where students can take up wheelchair basketball
  • Creating 100 satellite clubs on school sites where young disabled people can get involved in the sport in their own time
  • Supporting the development of grassroots clubs and improving the sport’s competition structure.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Wheelchair basketball has an important role to play in our work to make sport a practical lifestyle choice for many more disabled people.

“British Wheelchair Basketball has made good progress since first receiving funding four years ago and we are confident that, with this increased investment, many more disabled can look forward to taking up this sport.”

The sport’s talent development programme will benefit from £225,000 of Sport England investment ensuring high-quality coaching is available for the best young players.

British Wheelchair Basketball will lead work with a number of other sports on a new Capture programme, which will be a key route for disabled people to get involved in sport. Capture will improve links between sports and organisations that already support disabled people such as wheelchair services, rehabilitation services and health service education. This approach aims to greatly increase awareness of sporting opportunities among disabled people."

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Rugby tackles grassroots participation with £1.16 million legacy investment

Using Sport England’s four-year funding, Wheelchair Rugby will seek to capitalise on the interest generated by the Paralympics to get more people playing the sport.

The funding will use three targeted programmes to get people playing wheelchair rugby, through:

  • Working with special schools in Gloucestershire, Kent and London and creating a satellite club model of five clubs linked to the small number of community clubs
  •  Supporting spinal injury units, military rehab units and the national disability sports organisations to broaden the demographic within the sport and promote the sport to people with different impairments to meet growing demand from ‘non-spinal’ disabilities.  
  • Creating three new clubs year-on-year to meet demand in its development areas and help create a divisional league structure

On talent development, the expansion of the sport’s club structure will help broaden the participation base and drive talent through greater competition opportunities. Our investment will fund development coaches, sports science support for the Development Squad and contribute to a full-time Programme Manager.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe, said: “Wheelchair Rugby has a real opportunity to build on the success of the Paralympics. The strength of its plan is its simplicity. It is realistic and achievable  given the age and size of the sport in this country. The programmes reflect a straightforward plan to increase the number of people playing the sport and develop its talented players.


Good deal for wrestling as Sport England announces investment

Sport England has announced its largest ever investment in wrestling with £850,000 being invested over the next four years to support the grassroots sport and talent development.

Wrestling is a small sport, focused on a small number of clubs many of which are in deprived communities. The investment will help British Wrestling to take forward its plans to continue developing the sport by:

  • Training more coaches and officials to improve people’s experience of the sport
  • Introducing an athlete award system, similar to the belt system used by judo
  • Developing the club and competition infrastructure and improving links with schools.

Just over £160,000 of the investment will be used by the sport to develop a structured talent programme with a national talent squad, underpinned by three regional academies.

Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said: “We believe that investing in the development of small sports such as wrestling will help us create a diverse sporting legacy from this summer’s inspirational Olympic and Paralympic Games.”