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National governing bodies

We invest in and provide a range of services to national governing bodies to encourage more people to play sport and be physically active.

To help the sports sector continue to improve and evolve, we share our expertise to help our colleagues, partners and stakeholders improve the way they govern sports. 

We also support national governing bodies (NGBs) by establishing frameworks that make it easier for them to access specialist services, and often act in a consultancy role on areas including commercial, innovation and programme development.

A man swimming at the London Aquatics Centre.

Knowledge Hub

The Knowledge Hub is a platform that we use to share knowledge and best practice, and to encourage collaboration across NGBs and other professional entities that receive core market funding from us.

Access to the site is therefore currently restricted to organisations that receive our core market funding. If you’re unsure whether your organisation has access to the site, please email us at

The Knowledge Hub features the following: 

  • Forum: for discussions topics and action groups 
  • Library: archive of helpful documents and case studies
  • Events: placeholders for your calendar
  • Wiki: useful web links to other resources
  • Members: lets you connect with your peers.

Please note that we manage and moderate access to the site. 

Code for Sports Governance

Developed alongside UK Sport and launched in October 2016, the Code for Sports Governance sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity you’ll be required to meet if you’re applying for government or National Lottery funding.

View the code

Evaluation framework

Our Evaluation Framework website will help you evaluate funding streams and projects effectively, and ensure you get maximum value from measurement and evaluation.

It has easy-to-follow guidance and resources that you can use or adapt alongside your own tools to develop the right approach specific to your organisation.

Evaluation framework

Legal Panel Framework

We provide a list of firms that have committed to giving fixed fees, discounted rates and other value-added services.

When contacting firms, please let them know that it’s as a result of their appointment to the Legal Panel Framework, as this will ensure you’re eligible for discounted fees.

If you would like a copy of the list, have any questions or would like to speak to someone about this initiative, contact our Legal Services team.

  • Instructing legal panel firms

    Our Guidance Note will help you be effective for your organisation and get good value for money from your lawyers.

    You’ll be able to understand:

    • How to assess if you need a legal panel firm or not to help with an issue
    • What basic information to provide your lawyer with from the outset to ensure bespoke and direct advice can be provided.
    • What questions you need to ask your lawyer to ensure you are clear on their process and costs.
    • What you can expect from your lawyer.

    In addition to our Guidance Note, we’ve also developed a Template Instruction Form for you to fill in and use when you contact one of the panel firms.


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  • Additional services of the legal panel framework

    Here we provide information on the services that will be offered by all of the legal panel firms and their commitment to service the needs of the sector in a cost-efficient way.

    Free 20-minute helpline 

    In addition to the individual services already offered by each of the legal panel firms, each of the firms has committed to providing a free 20-minute helpline service to NGBs and sport and recreation organisations.

    When you contact any firm on the panel you must: 

    • State that you want to use the helpline service and quote LPF2017
    • Confirm your funding relationship with Sport England, Sport Wales, UK Sport, or Sport Northern Ireland, and/or membership of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

    Use of the helpline across the firms will be monitored. Please use the helpline appropriately and respect the generous offering from the panel firms by following the rules below: 

    • The 20 minutes’ free time applies to the first call on new queries/matters only. It doesn’t cover a matter where the legal panel firm is already acting for you or dealing with any correspondence in relation to it.
    • This is not a ‘call centre helpline’ and the legal panel firms may not be able to answer your call immediately. Please do leave a message and the lawyer will return your call as soon as possible.
    • The service covers the call to the designated point of contact for the legal panel firm, or on some occasions, when they refer you on to a specialist in that firm to discuss your initial query.
    • If you have contacted another legal panel firm on the same query, please let the lawyer know. Please note the collaborators and legal panel firms will be monitoring use by NGBs and repeated requests to different firms on the same query will be followed up with the organisation.

    Please make sure that you check if the legal panel firm covers the area of law that you require assistance on before contacting them.


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  • Pro-bono fund

    Part of this initiative is a Pro-Bono Fund where up to £150,000 of legal advice over two years will be available to eligible NGBs.

    What is the pro-bono fund? 

    The Pro-Bono Fund brokers free legal advice from the legal panel framework firms to small NGBs and sport and recreation organisations. 

    Each firm on the panel has committed to provide up to £5,000 worth of free advice per year to the sport and recreation sector.

    Who is eligible to apply for the fund? 

    Organisations must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the pro-bono fund:

    • The organisation must have a turnover of less than £500,000 (this is inclusive of grant income)
    • The organisation must have no budget set aside for legal expenses
    • The organisation must have no paid legal staff
    • The organisation must be a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and/or be funded by UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales or Sport Northern Ireland

    Please Note: Organisations who meet the eligibility criteria aren’t automatically entitled to an award from the fund. Decisions to make an award are at the discretion of the collaborators (Sport England, UK Sport, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland). 

    What areas of the law will the fund assist you with?

    Small NGBs and sport and recreation organisations who meet the eligibility criteria will be able to apply to the fund for free legal assistance with the following areas of law:

    • Charity and trust law including CASC registration
    • Child protection/vulnerable groups (DBS, Protection of Freedoms Act)
    • Simple contracts/grant agreements
    • Corporate law/governance/constitutional affairs
    • Employment law
    • Insolvency law
    • Property law (such as leases, licences and security of tenure).

    Please note: The pro-bono fund won’t be available for assistance with disputes or contentious matters and organisations will only be eligible to receive one successful application per year. 

    How do you apply to the fund?

    Access to the free legal assistance is managed through a central application route coordinated by the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

    Once an application is successful, the legal panel framework firms are contacted to confirm who’s available to provide advice on the matter.

    When a firm confirms they’re able to help, the Sport and Recreation Alliance puts the organisation in touch with the firm and they liaise directly with each other from that point.

    A unique reference number will be given to the organisation which they must provide to the firm at the outset of the matter.

    Applications to access the free legal advice must be submitted to the Sport and Recreation Alliance Governance team.

    To apply, organisations must download and fill in the application form and send it along with a copy of the organisation’s latest audited annual accounts, business plan or financial information.

    When will you find out if your application has been successful?

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis - the timescales are outlined below:

    • Application deadline – 20th of each month
    • Application reviewed – 30th of each month
    • Decision notification – two weeks after 30th.

    Applications received after the 20th of the month will not be considered until the following month.

    Is there any more information on the fund?

    Please read all of the downloadable documents at the bottom of this page before submitting an application. They include:

    If you’d like to discuss your application, please contact the Sport and Recreation Alliance Governance team.

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