Sport England has confirmed a £493 million four-year investment to keep the inspiration of London 2012 alive and help fulfil Lord Coe’s pledge that the Games would get more people – young and old, women and men – playing sport, a feat that no other host nation has ever managed to achieve.
Cycling, netball, wheelchair basketball and triathlon are among the sports being rewarded for their strong plans and excellent progress on grassroots sport, all receiving funding increases of over 30%.
- British Cycling will build on the work that’s got hundreds of thousands more people on their bikes in recent years, including Sky Ride, a great way of getting families on their bikes
- More and more women and men are getting involved in triathlon and to keep up the momentum Triathlon England will introduce a low-cost events programme for anyone who has felt priced out of this exciting sport
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said “Sport England’s funding announcement is a recognition of the good work done by British Cycling members and volunteers in driving grassroots participation and a challenge for us to do even better in the next four years.
“Whether it is for winning medals or for getting people active, we are proud of our record of delivering value for Lottery funding and we take the responsibility very seriously. There is still a great deal of work to do in making cycling in this country better. We’re looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Zara Hyde Peters Chief Executive of British Triathlon Federation, said “This award from Sport England demonstrates their willingness to support our fast growing sport and to work in partnership with us to accelerate that growth and get even more people doing triathlon.
“We always said our Olympic legacy was the level of interest we created in the sport; this investment will help us to turn inspiration into participation.”
Triathlon riding high as Sport England backs ambitious legacy plans
Triathlon is to receive £7.5 million to grow the sport and find the next generation of would-be Brownlees.
Four months after the Brownlee brothers’ Olympic excellence transformed the profile of triathlon, Sport England has backed the sport’s plans to continue its rapid expansion.
Individual race starts have grown by 50% over the past four years, with big increases among women and men. With £7.5 million of Sport England investment, Triathlon England aims to continue that rate of participation growth over the next four years, as well as supporting talented young triathletes.
£2.2 million of Sport England’s investment will fund talent development; including a new paratriathlon talent support programme after the sport was included in the 2016 Paralympic Games. The aim is to integrate the paratriathlon programme at a regional level with the existing talent programme to provide athletes with access to high-quality coaching and support. Improvements to the overall talent programme include additional coaching time, access to more competitions and improved links with the UK Sport funded World Class programme.
Working closely with the commercial sector, Triathlon England’s plans to increase participation in the sport centre on improving the quality of events and a strong understanding of the existing and potential triathletes, and hence how people’s loyalty can be built and maintained.
Sport England’s investment will support:
- A low cost events programme providing triathlon, duathlon and aquathlons to help address perceived cost barriers to getting involved
- A major events programme focusing on areas that don’t currently have large-scale triathlons, aiming for an exceptional athlete experience in iconic locations
- Work to increase the number of triathlon clubs in England and to boost capacity within existing clubs
- Partnerships with leisure/gym professionals to deliver informal training networks for triathletes who are not members of a club
Sport England’s Director of Sport, Lisa O’Keefe said “We have significantly increased our investment in triathlon based on the sport’s excellent track record and strong plans for the next four years.
“We believe this sport has excellent potential for further growth, among the growing band of people seeking a varied and flexible sport for health and fitness benefits.”
Long term plan
Recognising that more needs to be done to make all sports a practical lifestyle choice for disabled people, 40 sports have now developed detailed plans to tackle this challenge. Each will have specific targets for increasing the number of disabled people taking part.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said “This investment represents Years 5 to 8 of our long term plan to get more people playing sport. We’ve learned a lot over the last four years and with a record 15.5 million people already playing sport once a week, we are on track to deliver. We have worked very hard, with the governing bodies of sport, to make these decisions, and I believe they are right.”
UK Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said “This public investment of almost half a billion pounds for grassroots sport will help us deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. We want all sports governing bodies to help inspire a generation and create a culture where people have a sporting habit for life.”
At least 60% of the investment announced today will support young people aged between 14 and 25. More than £83 million of this will be used to support the development of talented young athletes in 43 sports, ensuring those with podium dreams receive the best possible coaching and support in high-quality facilities.
Sport England has worked closely with UK Sport to ensure talent and elite funding for Olympic and Paralympic sports is aligned and will deliver maximum value.
Investments in the 46 sports will be made through each sport’s governing body following a robust and challenging process to assess the quality of their plans and their ability to deliver for community sport and talent development.
Each sport will be subject to tough performance management through a ‘payment for results’ approach that will see Sport England rewarding success and penalising failure. £40 million of the total funding package has been set aside in a Reward and Incentive Fund, enabling Sport England to move swiftly to help high-performing sports achieve even more.
And any governing body that fails to achieve its annual targets for increasing participation faces losing 20% of its remaining investment, with the money immediately available to bids from the open market.
Jennie Price said: “For the first time we have created a specific fund to reward success by NGBs who prove they can grow their sports. This is about backing winners.
“Investment in this scale from the public purse is a big responsibility for the sector as a whole, and we are committed to a tough but fair approach of payment for results. We are determined to get good value for every pound of this funding”
To complement its direct investment into the sports, Sport England also announced £15.1 million to a number of partner organisations. These include those which promote diversity in sport, such as the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation and the English Federation of Disability Sport, and those with particular expertise such as Sportscoach UK. The funding will ensure the sports have access to high quality advice and support to help them achieve the goal of getting more people playing sport regularly.