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Uniting the Movement’s first implementation plan published

Supporting the sport and physical activity sector to recover and rebuild are among our key priorities for the next 12 months.

12th May 2021

We’ve published a one-year action plan to help kickstart the process of delivering our long-term strategy, Uniting the Movement.   

It outlines the work we'll do to the end of March 2022, supported by a set of goals – these are the things we’ll focus on this year and work collaboratively with partners to achieve.

Tackling inequalities is at the heart of our strategy, and today we're confirming as part of our year-long plan an additional investment of £20 million to the successful Tackling Inequalities Fund.

A schoolgirl throws a ball towards another girl during an outdoor game of netball.

The programme supports four key target audiences – those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, people with long-term limiting health conditions and disabled people – recognising they've been disproportionately hit by the pandemic and need much more support to incorporate activity into their daily lives.

Looking ahead

We’ll go through a major transition as we move to deliver Uniting the Movement, which aims to transform lives and communities across England through sport and physical activity. 

Our longer-term strategy implementation plan for 2022-25 will be published later this year, when we expect to know more about the impact of coronavirus and the picture as restrictions ease. 

This will be the first of our longer-term implementation plans. Each will be regularly reviewed and where necessary refined, meaning we can highlight our collective achievements, as well as adapt if and when things change.

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive, said the publication of the implementation plan today is an important step towards bringing the ambition set out in Uniting the Movement to life.  

“This implementation plan comes at a critical time for the sport and physical activity sector as we start to reopen – it’s the first step towards realising the hopes and ambition set out in Uniting the Movement and explains our four key goals for the next 12 months,” he said.

“While we’re still dealing with the challenges and uncertainty caused by the pandemic on a daily basis, we believe this is a fantastic time to reset and fast-track the role sport and activity plays in helping people to live happier, healthier lives. 

“I urge anyone involved in delivering it to read our implementation plan, consider what it means for you and have your say too in helping to shape our longer-term 2022-25 implementation plan by getting involved in the consultation.”

Our goals for this year

The goals we’ve developed for this first year of implementing Uniting the Movement will support us to move on from our previous strategy, Towards an Active Nation. 

They balance the continuing need to be responsive to the short-term challenges of coronavirus with the need to be proactive so we can meet the ambitions we’ve set out in our strategy. 

Our four goals for this year are:  

  1. Respond: help the population to keep moving and support the right partners to deliver safely and effectively during Covid-19 restrictions 
  2. Transform: continue to change our way of working to be consistent with Uniting the Movement, with a primary focus on cultural change and leadership
  3. Plan: create a plan for the implementation of Uniting the Movement to 2025 and lay the foundations in this first year
  4. Transition: Review, manage and evaluate existing business commitments, functions and responsibilities to further allow the delivery of Uniting the Movement. 

All of these will enable us to work to tackle the big issues that were set out as key in our strategy, and will drive forward what we identified were the key catalysts for change needed alongside it. 

You can find out more about these four goals and what they mean below.

  • Respond

    We’ll build on the £230m of government and National Lottery funding provided so far to help our sector get through the coronavirus crisis, including through an additional £20m for our Tackling Inequalities Fund.

    This fund has already allocated £20m to over 2,800 community organisations, with over 80% of these organisations partnering with us for the first time. We’ll contact the national partners involved in supporting this fund shortly to set out the next steps.  

    This goal will also see us work closely with the government to deliver the £300m Summer Sport Survival Package, with the Winter Sport Survival package supporting more than 1,200 organisations and allocating over £272m in loan and grant funding. 

    We’ll continue to use our award-winning campaigns, like This Girl Can and Join the Movement, to support targeted audiences to live more active lives, and we'll place a significant emphasis on supporting young people. This will include launching Studio You, a Netflix-style platform providing non-traditional PE lessons to help girls get active, and through the continuation of our free Secondary School Teacher Training programme to schools around the country. 

    There'll also be an emphasis on supporting the workforce, which has been hit so hard. We'll do this by making an investment of £5m in a 'Retrain to Retain' support package. Alongside this, we’ll run a free digital marketing programme open to anyone working in sport and physical activity.

    Read more about this goal

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  • Transform

    We’ll focus on evolving the way we operate and work – being truly dynamic, flexible and highly collaborative. This means doing things like  identifying and prioritising the data, insight and learning needed to deliver Uniting the Movement, to help inform our decisions and shape what we do.

    We'll create a simpler and more efficient system to support our investment processes through a new Investment Management System, and we'll develop a clear menu of investment approaches, plus simplified access to our open funding.

    This goal will also see us publish our refreshed Code for Sports Governance, which sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity required from those who ask for government and National Lottery funding and is a crucial mechanism to drive improved leadership standards, diversity and cultural change through our sector.

    We'll also focus on other important organisational changes, ensuring our capacity and resource is best placed to deliver our strategy.

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  • Plan

    We’ll be working with partners and stakeholders over the next six months to develop the implementation plan for Uniting the Movement for 2022-25, which we intend to publish later this year.  

    We’ll work with partners with a major role to play in implementing Uniting the Movement, including national governing bodies and Active Partnerships, to review our approach to future investment, and we'll confirm future investment levels for the majority of existing partners by the autumn.

    Working with football partners, we’ll create a new multi-million investment into community football facilities, and a percentage of the work will be focused on multi-sport facilities to help other sports to benefit from the funding.

    This goal will also see us play a key role in maximising the impact of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 at a grassroots level, supporting the development of facilities for the event, and regional legacy plans to encourage people to be active. 

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  • Transition

    Through all this change, we'll be continuing, adapting, reducing or ending the work of previous strategies, so everything we’re doing is aligned.  

    There’ll be a big focus on measurement, continuing to track the activity levels and patterns of adults and children in England with our Active Lives Adult and Active Lives Children and Young People surveys, and developing further indicators of performance against our objectives

    We'll also collaborate with partners to agree the most effective ways of measuring the success of our individual investments and partnerships.

    This goal will also see involve us learning from our previous strategy, Towards an Active Nation, and transition work from it to Uniting the Movement.

    Read more about this goal

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Get involved

We’re starting a new round of consultation on the Uniting the Movement implementation plan for 2022-25.  

Take part

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