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Further long-term partnerships confirmed

The national governing bodies could receive a total of £21 million between them over the next five years, to help us deliver on the commitments made in our Uniting the Movement strategy.

25th May 2023

We’ve added four national governing bodies to our list of long-term partnerships as we continue our ambition to level up access to sport and physical activity in England.

Swim England, British Taekwondo, British Taekwondo Council and Pentathlon GB join more than 120 organisations that we've partnered with over the past 14 months, with British Rowing also receiving additional funding to that announced in May last year.  

They’ve been chosen for their influence and ability to improve access to sport and physical activities and to tackle inequalities.

A woman performs a taekwondo head kick

Our latest Active Lives Adult Survey showed 63% of adults in England are currently meeting the recommended 150+ minutes of exercise per week – meaning there are 1.5 million more active adults compared to six years ago.

However, the research continues to show inequalities in activity levels, with those with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse backgrounds and those from lower socio-economic groups reporting lower activity levels.

In total, more than £21m of combined National Lottery and government funding will be distributed across these partnerships over the next five years as they help to tackle these inequalities and use their influence to create positive change.

And for our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, this announcement is further evidence of us working towards the goals set out in Uniting the Movement.

“Sport England’s aim is for everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live or what their background is to have the ability and opportunity to be active,” he said.

“We know we can’t achieve this alone, and it is only by working together with organisations from across the sport and physical activity sector that we will be able to bring about the positive change we need.

“We are also committed with them to ensuring that anyone who wants to play sport or be active can do so in a safe, welcoming and accessible environment. 

“The partners we’ve announced today have been carefully chosen to support these agendas given their governance or systemic role in sport and will help us build on the recovery we’ve seen in activity levels since the pandemic.”

This announcement brings our total investment on long-term partnerships close to £600m as we look to provide the long-term financial security needed for partners to deliver on our Uniting the Movement strategy and help to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

"It is only by working together with organisations from across the sport and physical activity sector that we will be able to bring about the positive change we need."

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief executive, Sport England

Swim England’s partnership award is confirmed for year one.

Due to recent concerns expressed around the sport, including those covered by the Sport Resolutions report published in March this year, the subsequent years of their award are provisional and subject to a number of significant conditions.

These conditions include:

  • Commissioning an independent and expert ‘listening exercise’ to understand experiences of those in swimming.
  • The agreement of a plan to implement the recommendations of the Sport Resolutions UK review. 
  • For year one of the award, Swim England will provide quarterly updates to Sport England on the progress of the ‘Heart of Aquatics’ plan and related activities including the listening exercise. 
  • Swim England will update their Complaints Policy in line with the recommendations of the Sport Resolutions UK review, to the satisfaction of Sport England.

A full list of their conditions can be found here.

Swim England’s performance in responding to and implementing the findings of this report, and other conditions, will be carefully monitored and future year funding is contingent on the conditions being met.

Further reaction

  • Swim England

    £10,581,600 (one year guaranteed, remaining award contingent on conditions being met)

    Jane Nickerson, chief executive, said: “We are delighted at the prospect of working closely with Sport England to ensure swimming and aquatic activity is an accessible, safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.

    “We are committed to creating a positive culture where the highest safeguarding standards and welfare support is available to every single community across the length and breadth of the country.

    “The ability to swim is a life skill no-one should be without and everyone at Swim England is passionate about championing a healthy and successful nation through aquatic activity.

    “This latest investment from Sport England is extremely important as it will help us realise this vision.

    “It will also enable us to support our clubs, athletes and volunteers across all of our amazing sports as well as developing new opportunities to increase participation and get even more people enjoying the many mental and physical health benefits being active in the water can bring.

    “Partnership working is a key part of our new 10-year strategy, Access Aquatics, and our continued collaboration with Sport England will be a major factor in ensuring its long-term success.”

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  • British Rowing

    £7,589,562 award, making a total award of £9,084,367

    Alastair Marks, chief executive, said: “Having worked closely with Sport England to develop our plans to increase the diversity in our sport from the very grassroots to the talent potential pathway we are delighted with this increased award.

    “Focused on bringing in more rowers from all communities, we aim to create a real step change in not only who takes part in our sport but also who volunteers and coaches in it too.

    “The funding will help us realise our ambition to create truly joined up communities delivering great rowing experiences for those who traditionally wouldn't take part in rowing and we look forward to seeing the change we hope to create in the months ahead.”

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  • British Taekwondo


    Ian Leafe, chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be now working directly with Sport England and other system partners, to really make a difference to the lives of our participants and the wider community, through sport and physical activity, and chip away at inequalities wherever we find them.

    “A huge thanks to the Sport England Team for the support in this cycle.”

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  • British Taekwondo Council


    Trevor Nicholls, chief executive, said: “BTC are proud to be included in the esteemed list of Sport England’s funded System Partners.

    "The award will support BTC in our commitment to growing grassroots Taekwondo and thereby support Sport England’s ambitions detailed in Uniting the Movement.

    “BTC recognise the value and reassurance provided to all stakeholders by our ongoing work towards full compliance with the Tier 3 standards and accountability required by the National Code of Sports Governance.”

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  • Pentathlon GB


    Trafford Wilson, chief executive, said: “Pentathlon GB is extremely excited to receive system build funding to support the organisation to create new participation opportunities that enable more people across the UK to be involved in our family of sports.

    “Aligned to the 2022-25 Pentathlon GB strategy, we are absolutely committed to making our sport more accessible and inclusive. We look forward to working with Sport England and other partners to reach new audiences and engage more participants in our sport.”

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