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Governing bodies given help to keep developing an active nation

Sport organisations will spend funding on encouraging thousands of people to get or remain active

17th January 2019

people playing volleyball

Ten national governing bodies (NGBs) have been given more support to help people keep or develop their sporting habit.

More than £16 million will be spent on the 10 sports over the next two years to help work Building an Active Nation.

The 10 NGBs will use their awards across everything from tackling inactivity to developing talented athletes.

While many NGBs were awarded full funding for the 2017-21 period two years ago, these 10 were awarded initial funds but also given another two years to develop business cases or illustrate positive results before applying for further funding in the 2019-21 period to continue to help people get, or remain, active.

Angling Trust, Baseball Softball UK, the British Equestrian Federation, the England and Wales Cricket Board, England Netball and Volleyball England will focus their resources on maintaining and building their existing base of participants.


More than £260m has been awarded to NGBs since 2016

While British Cycling and Exercise Movement and Dance UK will prioritise recruiting those people who regularly dip in and out of exercise and Swim England will look to engage the quarter of the adult population who do fewer than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

The final investments will see Volleyball England, British Fencing and England Netball focus on supporting their talented or high performance athletes.

“Millions of people love sport and take part regularly and we don’t take their commitment for granted," said our executive director of sport Phil Smith. "Even the most enthusiastic people can sometimes find it hard to maintain the habit, especially when life gets in the way.

“This funding of national governing bodies is to help increase the number of people engaged in sport, through investing in clubs, coaches, facilities, equipment and new ways to play.

“Alongside this, some of our investment will support talented athletes to fulfil their potential, such as the England Netball team, who are heading in to a home World Cup this year with high hopes.”

Towards an Active Nation

Our intention is for everyone in England, regardless of age background or ability, to feel able to take part in sport or activity.

From December 2016 to March 2017 we invested £244 million in more than 40 governing bodies for the 2017-21 period.

The awards came as part of our Building an Active Nation strategy that is focusing on influencing thousands of people to have the capability, opportunity and motivation to get active.

Sport and physical activity has the capability to improve a person's physical and mental wellbeing, as well as their individual and social development – with the community also experiencing an economic boost.

The combination of National Lottery and Government funding is vital to our goals of developing and delivering an Active Nation, with all NGBs only receiving funding upon meeting the Code for Sports Governance that we launched in 2016.

The investments

These 10 investments cover a variety of sports with a variety of aims and goals – the details of which are laid out below.

  • Angling Trust

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    Award: £670,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base.

    Intended use: To retain more anglers, with a focus on older people, families and specific disability groups. The 'Let's Go Family Fishing' initiative hopes to reach disabled people and those from lower socio-economic groups.

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  • Baseball Softball UK

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    Award: £1,000,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base.

    Intended use: The main focus of this investment is on enhancing the organisation’s business development activity as well as activating Major League Baseball's programming across the country to connect with the London Series. This will focus on targeting families from lower socio-economic groups, women, girls and the LGBTQ community.

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  • British Cycling

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    Award: £5,690,000

    Investment area: Recruiting those people who regularly dip in and out of exercise.

    Intended use: British Cycling want to encourage those who currently cycle less than once a week to ride more regularly. Their work will particularly focus on women, young people and those with a disability and/or life-limiting illness.

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  • British Equestrian Federation (BEF)

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    Award: £1,400,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base.

    Intended use: The funding will be spent on a number of programmes, including Riding to School – where BEF will work with Pony Club centres to upskill employees and business owners so they can approach schools directly – and an Accessibility for All scheme that will look to address waiting lists by continuing to deliver the Accessibility Mark across riding centres and develop recognised para-confidence and accessibility training for all qualified coaches.

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  • British Fencing Association (BFA)

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    Award: £424,000

    Investment area: Talented athletes.

    Intended use: The funding will support the delivery of the 'talent' tiers of their athlete development model that correlates to when an athlete is between the Early Talent Squad and the Podium Potential stages of the Sport England Talent Plan. Funding will also be used to increase the number of female athletes and establish a female-only performance hub and decreasing the financial burden of going on camps.

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  • England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)

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    Award: £1,000,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base.

    Intended use: This funding will allow the ECB to continue their South Asian Communities programme that is focusing on increasing the number of players and teams from the South Asian community, as well as increasing their representation in the cricket workforce.

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  • England Netball

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    Award: £1,500,000 and £1,300,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base, and high performance.

    Intended use: With a twin focus of building and maintaining their participant base and providing for those at the highest level of the game, England Netball hope this investment will have a big impact. At one end of the spectrum there will be investment in Back to Netball and Walking Netball programmes, while the high performance programme will be supported for the national team and there is also investment to maintain their work to increase and diversify their revenues.

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  • Exercise Movement and Dance UK

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    Award: £1,700,000

    Investment area: Recruiting those people who regularly dip in and out of exercise, as well as boosting the workforce.

    Intended use: This funding will be invested in developing a more diverse, customer-focussed and professional workforce that increases the number of 'good' experiences for the consumer. While at the same time, investment will be made into using digital innovation and open data to develop a 'Classfinder' programme that will make it easier for people to get active.

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  • Swim England

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    Award: £460,000

    Investment area: Tackling inactivity.

    Intended use: Swim England's health and wellbeing team will be funded, allowing the rollout and continuous refinement of their insight informed and evidence-based programmes to support inactive individuals – particularly those with long-term health conditions. It'll also allow Swim England to evaluate the mental wellbeing of these programmes, to continue to build their influence with pool operators and to leverage additional partner funding.

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  • Volleyball England

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    Award: £1,050,000

    Investment area: Maintaining and building participant base, and talented athletes.

    Intended use: Volleyball England will use the funding to build and maintain functions that provide a strong core for their organisation and allow them to follow a sustainable business model. To do this they will develop a membership portal, enabling them to know more about their members, as well as focusing on their Higher Education Volunteer Officer programme and talented athletes.

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