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Funding for governing bodies to drive participation through innovation

The £6.5m of National Lottery funding will be split between 21 organisations as part of our investment into the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

12th May 2022

Sports bodies are being helped to use innovative, non-traditional or digital ideas to drive participation thanks to a £6.5 million investment of National Lottery funding.

The money comes as part of our £35m commitment to creating a lasting national impact from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and will be split between the 21 national governing bodies involved in the Games.

With a focus on improving participation rates in areas of England where activity levels are the lowest, the fund is aimed at helping governing bodies to develop accessible opportunities to engage with disadvantaged communities.

Former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Sport England Chief Executive speak to young athletes at the Alexander Stadium, at an occasion to mark Sport England's £6.5m investment into national governing bodies of sport ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Each governing body will receive up to £500,000, enabling people from all backgrounds to take part in sport and physical activity, with our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth excited by the opportunity the funding brings.

“To deliver long-term community impact from the Commonwealth Games, we have to listen to what people need, try out new and different ideas, and support our partners who know what works at a grassroots level for their community,” he said.

“Lasting impact depends on the creation of long-term, inclusive and local opportunities for people to get active, and tackling the inequalities that make it harder for some groups to take part in sport and activity.

“Today’s funding is an opportunity for us to work innovatively with sports to build a national activity legacy, targeting the people and areas who need the most support to get active.”

Our latest Active Lives Survey shows affluence and activity levels are closely linked, with 52.3% of the least affluent people meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation of 150 minutes of activity a week, compared to 71.2% for the most affluent.

It also showed a link between where you live and your activity levels, demonstrating why targeted investments is vital to break down the barriers to getting active.

This fund will focus on areas in Birmingham and the West Midlands, in addition to parts of London, Manchester and Bristol, where inequalities mean activity levels are often below the national average.

And for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Games are an opportunity to get the whole country moving.

“This summer, I want communities up and down the country to get excited about the Commonwealth Games by getting active. 

“From swimming, to boxing and basketball, this funding from Sport England will help do just that – by breaking down barriers and levelling up opportunities for young people to get involved in sport, no matter where they live.”

In addition to the funding, the governing bodies will be required to participate in an Innovation and Digital Accelerator programme, run by CAST, which will give them access to expert support and help them maximise the impact of their plans.

An opportunity that Stewart Kellett, the chief executive officer of Basketball England, is relishing.

“We’re delighted to be part of this innovative legacy drive to create new opportunities for young people to play,” he said.

“We will be using digital engagement to help people discover new ways to play and engage with a wider audience.

“Our campaign #GameTime will elevate the voices of local people and create awareness of new activities locally, helping them create their great spaces in their communities through #ProjectSwish and new playing opportunities through 3x3 and the outdoor game.”

"This summer, I want communities up and down the country to get excited about the Commonwealth Games by getting active."

Boris Johnson

Prime Minister

  • NGBs receiving funding

    The organisations receiving funding are:

    Archery GB

    Badminton England

    Basketball England

    Bowls England

    British Cycling

    British Gymnastics

    British Judo

    British Shooting

    British Triathlon

    British Weightlifting

    British Wrestling

    England and Wales Cricket Board (decision pending)

    England Athletics

    England Boxing

    England Hockey

    England Netball

    England Squash

    Rugby Football Union

    Swim England

    Table Tennis England

    Volleyball England

    Digital and innovation partner - CAST

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This funding comes in addition to the further £360m we committed to the sector earlier this week, which will help us, along with our partners, to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

And for Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, its illustrative of the desire to make a difference in areas of most need.

“We want Birmingham 2022 to be the games for everyone and this fund will help make that a reality across the country,” she said.

"By reaching into new communities with fun, creative and accessible introductions to Commonwealth sports, this investment will help increase participation and secure a strong legacy from Birmingham 2022.”

Examples of how the funding will be used

Swim England

Swim England will work with a range of partner organisations to use both digital and community engagement to tackle issues of water safety and help children from diverse and disadvantaged local communities in Birmingham and the Black Country learn to swim – a vital life skill.

They'll pilot innovations in ‘swim lesson gamification’, digital channels to recruit swimming teachers from diverse backgrounds and using a digital campaign and toolkit to upskill and educate swimming clubs on inclusion.  

England Boxing

In partnership with Coach Core, England Boxing are appointing 10 new ‘Community Boxing Apprentices’ from underrepresented groups, as part of a community-led approach, with applications especially encouraged from the travelling community, women and girls.

These relatable role models will be supported with digital skills training to amplify their reach via digital channels, in order to connect with diverse communities and demonstrate that there’s a place in boxing for everyone.

Basketball England

Basketball England will be investing into the development of 3x3 participation opportunities for young people, building on the format’s debut at the Commonwealth Games.

The NGB will also use digital engagement to boost the profile of the sport and a digital tool linked to #ProjectSwish to enable people to find new spaces, courts, and opportunities to play.

They'll also target those from underrepresented communities and low-income areas who may also experience other inequalities – such as disabilities and long-term health conditions.

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