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Implementation plan for years 2-4 of Uniting the Movement published

Building the movement, meeting people where they're at and being the change are the primary focuses for us over the three years to April 2025.

2nd December 2021

We’ve published the plan for how we’re going to implement the next three years of our 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

The 2022-25 plan details how we’ll work towards our mission of transforming lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Building on the lessons learned from our work throughout the pandemic, we’ll target investment, resources and energy where it’s needed most and will have greatest impact.

A boy with a prosthetic leg paddles a paddle board, with an adult assistant on the back of it.

To create a more level playing field and tackle the inequalities that exist for people and groups, we’ll introduce new and innovative ways to increase participation by listening to local communities, grassroots networks, sports clubs, their volunteers and our expert partners.

But we must first understand what people’s and their communities’ priorities are locally, what works best and where investment is most needed.

The publication of the three-year plan follows an extensive consultation with thousands of partners that are passionate about making sport and physical activity a normal part of life for everyone in England.

Each piece of work we’re committing to will drive forward the five big issues and the catalysts for change at the heart of Uniting the Movement, which we identified as the biggest opportunities to make an impact over the course of the ten years.

The publication of this implementation plan is an important moment in our Uniting the Movement strategy and an exciting step for the sport and physical activity sector.

It sets out where we want to collectively be in three-years time and is the product of an extensive consultation with our partners who share our ambition to transform lives and communities through sport and activity.

The plan also sets out what Sport England’s role in this process will be and offers a roadmap to tackling inequalities and ensure everyone, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or background can enjoy the benefits of playing sport and living an active life.

Over the course of the three-year period, we will introduce new and innovative ways to increase participation by listening to local communities, grassroots networks, sports clubs, their volunteers, and our expert partners.

I look forward to continuing to work with everyone on the journey to build a sport and physical activity sector that everyone in our society can benefit from.

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief executive, Sport England

Our role in the movement

It’ll take everyone in the movement to realise these ambitions. However, we have a unique role to play.

We’ve, therefore, organised our work against three pillars:

  • Building the movement

    We’ll champion the huge benefits that moving our bodies – through community sport, fitness and physical activity – has on our health and for our communities.

    This means supporting the very broad and diverse network of people and organisations that are using those things to make life better for people.

    We’ll spot the patterns and trends and add fuel where energy is building.

    Activate and advocate for key bits where something needs unlocking or unblocking.

    And catalyse and leverage action through funding, tools, inspiration and ideas that travel easily.

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  • Meeting the people where they're at

    Being truly inclusive of the people and organisations who’ve traditionally been marginalised needs us to go to them, rather than expecting them to come to us.

    We’ll focus disproportionately on people who face the most barriers to activity, so they can have equal access to opportunities in inclusive, safe and accessible environments.

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  • Being the change

    We’ve heard loud and clear that the way we do things has a ripple effect way beyond our organisation – so we’ll use this as a force for positive change.

    We’ll show, not tell, embracing the change we want to see through our language, communications, skills and approach – living our values every single day.

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What we'll do

We’ll disproportionately target our effort and investment to level up places and improve accessibility and opportunities for the communities and people that need it the most to be active.

Specifically, we’ll:

  • Expand our place partnerships to focus investment and resources on communities most in need.
  • Continue to deliver our coronavirus (Covid-19) recovery and reinvention package, including the government’s Sport Survival Package, initially focused on rebuilding the collective of people who make sport and physical activity happen in communities and working closely with local authorities to protect provision where it can have the most impact.
  • Work with national and local partners to target the government’s investment into community football, tennis and multi-sport facilities in places with greatest need.
  • Invest around the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games to improve facilities and level up access to community sport.
  • Create simplified access to our open funding with a single point of entry – with ease of use and flexibility being key priorities.
  • Convene and collaborate with the sports sector to join up and advocate around the big issues, such as supporting children and young people, connecting communities and integrating into health.
  • Develop the sector’s presence across government to embed sport and activity as a key contributor to local and national policy priorities and champion the critical role that we and our partners can play.
  • Ensure good governance, safeguarding, integrity and inclusion is embedded in all we do, including through our revised Code for Sports Governance.

Our ambitions

Within our three-year plan, we’ve outlined the collective action and outcomes needed by 2025 in order to make progress against the big issues and catalysts for change.

We identified these by working with partners and stakeholders to understand the current context we’re all operating in, as well as conducting analysis of trends to identify what the external landscape might look like in 2025.

We now have a set of ambitions for 2025 to help the movement make progress together. These are:

More investment and resources for communities with the greatest need. With the public, private and third sectors working better together at a local level to help people be active.

Inclusive, safe and accessible experiences as standard. With all of us using research to inform how we deliver experiences designed around people’s needs.

Supporting, recognising and celebrating success of organisations providing under-represented groups with great experiences and opportunities, in order to inspire and support others.

Adapting to people’s changing needs and expectations by using a people-first approach to the design of sport and physical activity, driven by innovation and digital.

Listening to and involving people less likely to be active in decisions and co-creating opportunities to get active.

A more diverse network of leaders, volunteers and professionals across sport and key related sectors that ‘think’ physical activity in all they do and champion inclusivity.

Positive experiences for children and young people that are created with opportunities designed around fun, inclusivity and safety, as well as choice.

Talented athletes from every background being given the chance to make it to the top.

Delivering policy priorities

Tackling inequalities sits at the heart of our strategy, and whether improved health and wellbeing, education and skills or net zero, we're determined to help level up communities across the country and support policy priorities.

  • Levelling up - targeting our investment at the places and communities that need it most and directing our national and local partners to do the same.
  • Health – sport and activity has a key role in improving the health and happiness of people across the country, and our sector is uniquely placed to help tackle the health inequalities that exist.
  • Education, jobs & skills – empowering local people to development new skills to grow and influence activity in their community, using local assets to grow grassroots networks across the country.
  • Net zero – helping communities to make positive, environmentally conscious choices to the spaces that we live, work, and play and influencing how people live and travel every day.

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