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Major new funding to keep nation active

New investment opportunities to build on the millions of people already doing sport and activity across the country

16th December 2016

We're going to be investing nearly £88 million of National Lottery and Government funding in 26 national governing bodies of sport (NGB) in addition to opening two separate open funding programmes.

The investments and work will come into force in April 2017 and follows detailed discussions with each governing body about what contribution they can make to our new strategy.

New funding deals

Every investment we make follows a new customer-led approach, where the needs and wants of the player, athlete or participant come first.

Around one third of people (14.9 million) are currently in sport’s 'core market' – the people who have a strong affinity with sport, including talented athletes trying to reach the top.

We want to continue to support them and help grow the market by reducing drop out.

Key investments include:

  • Gymnastics (£8,333,000)

There is huge demand for high-quality gymnastics sessions, especially for children, so we are investing in British Gymnastics (BG) to increase capacity through partnerships with clubs and other providers such as leisure centres.


invested in 26 governing bodies of sport

British Gymnastics will work with clubs to ensure young people are aware of opportunities for them in other sports when they are ready to stop taking part

Gymnastics is often a sport that young people enjoy but they drop out at around the age of 10 or 11. British Gymnastics will work with clubs to ensure that when young people are ready to stop taking part, they are aware of opportunities for them in other sports.

  • Hockey (9,030,000)

England Hockey will develop a much more flexible offer for players, including more summer sessions at times that suit the demand. More versions of hockey will also be available for those who like hockey but can’t, or don’t want to, commit to the traditional 11-a-side game.

With approximately 1,000 hockey pitches but less than 10 per cent of them owned by hockey clubs, Engl;and Hockey will focus on protecting key facilities while also improving links between schools and clubs and continuing to support players who are progressing through the talent system.

  • Cycling (£17,310,000)

Cycling is one of the country’s most popular sports, with 6.2 million taking part at least once a month throughout the year.

A key element of British Cycling’s plan is to use cycling to help create active, healthy and sustainable places to live across the country. Through their Sport England and HSBC UK partnership, they will encourage large numbers to participate in programmes such as traffic-free cycling festivals, a national campaign encouraging families to cycle together, and the continuation of Breeze, Ride Social and Ride Local programmes. 

  • Badminton (£7,250,000)

Badminton England will work with leisure operators to create innovative ways to get more court time for players. They will focus on making it easier for people to book a court, including improving the badminton experience for regular players.

We fully intend to inspire more young people to play, get more coaches coaching, get more players competing and encourage more volunteers

Julia Strong

national game director, Badminton England

They’ll also build on their successful ‘Smash Up’ programme by creating 60 new junior clubs and a network of clubs linked to schools – so that keen young players, especially girls and disabled players, have clearer options to continue taking part. The governing body will also create a greater variety of high-quality competition opportunities, including more social tournaments.

Julia Strong, Badminton England’s national game director, said: “This level of funding shows significant confidence and commitment by Sport England in our strategy to grow badminton at a grassroots level.


people currently in sport's core market

"We now fully intend to inspire more young people to play, get more coaches coaching, get more players competing and encourage more volunteers to make badminton happen in clubs and organised activity across England.”

  • Cricket (£7,600,000)

Linked to our This Girl Can campaign, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is going to develop a range of flexible, welcoming and fun cricket formats for women and girls trying the game for the first time. They’ll also focus their attention on getting more people from south Asian communities playing.

With insight showing young people increasingly preferring quicker and more exciting 20-over cricket, more opportunities will be created throughout the country.

The ECB’s successful ‘Get the Game On’ programme will be extended to additional 100 leagues, preventing matches being cancelled unnecessarily.

  • Para-swimming (£850,000)

The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) will broaden the system that supports talented para-swimmers, so that more budding Ollie Hynds and Hannah Russells can work towards fulfilling their potential. A new foundation level will be introduced to the talent system and will include nine year olds and upwards. There will also be a new junior development level (11-13 years) and a development level (14-16 years). All swimmers on the programme will receive visits to their home club and will have access to a number of training camps.

Governing bodies connect most naturally to sport’s core market of regulars and therefore most of the funding announced today will be targeted there. There will be opportunities for governing bodies to bid for other open funding rounds targeting other types of customers, such as those who are less active, in the next four years.

Major events legacy funding

In addition to investing directly in national governing bodies of sport, we're also launching two open funding programmes to help governing bodies bid to host major events and get more people involved in their sports off the back of them.


fund for major events

Over the next four years, we will continue to work with UK Sport, DCMS and the governing bodies to ensure that we continue to think creatively about how we maximise hosting events for greater return.

£1 million is available to prospective hosts to help them develop their bids and a further £2 million is available to engage a much broader range of people in and around major sporting events.

Speaking about all of our new investment opportunities, Phil Smith, Sport England's director of sport, says: "I want to thank all the governing bodies we’ve worked with to agree solid plans. These investments allow governing bodies to reach the customers they know best, and provide them with their regular sport in the way they want it.

"These are investments in clubs, in coaches, in matches and in competitions – the ‘core market’ of sport."

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