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New Sport England funding looks to encourage innovation among NGBs

The focus will be on improving participation rates in areas where activity levels are the lowest (IMAGE: Sport England)
Sports bodies are being encouraged to use innovative, non-traditional or digital ideas to drive participation through a £6.5 million investment by Sport England. The money comes as part of the body’s £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.


Each governing body will receive up to £500,000, enabling people from all backgrounds to take part in sport and physical activity. The 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.


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.


Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England CEO, said: “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.


“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.”
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