£1bn funding for new school sports clubs

Every secondary school in England is to host a community sports club as part of a new government plan to inspire more children to take up sport.

The plans are part of a new £1bn strategy which aims to get more young people involved in sport at grassroots level – a legacy pledge in the UK’s 2012 Olympic bid.

As part of the five year youth sport strategy, Sport England will help 2,000 local football clubs move into secondary schools, with expert coaches providing sessions that aim to strengthen links between schools and grassroots clubs.

In total, 4,000 schools will be offered a community sport club on their site, with respective national governing bodies (NGBs) committing 1,300 rugby union clubs, 1,250 cricket clubs, 1,000 rugby league and 1,000 tennis clubs to the scheme.

Around £450 million of the funding will go directly to NGBs between 2013 and 2017 for their whole sport plans, with funding allocated on a new “payment-by-results” basis to ensure that targets are met.

County sports partnerships will support NGBs, foster local links and help transition young people into clubs, with a particular focus on the 14- to 25-year-old age bracket.

The government hopes playing sport will become a lifelong habit for more people and a regular choice for the majority.

Building on the early success of their Places People Play scheme, Sport England will invest £100m in new facilities for the most popular sports, including new 3G football pitches.

A further £10m will be made available to open up school sport facilities for local community use. All secondary schools who wish to do this will be supported by Sport England, with at least one third of these receiving additional funding to make it happen.

“Changing the sporting behaviour of a generation is a major challenge which has not been achieved by any other Olympic host nation,” said Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price.

“With a new focus on young people and an even tougher, government-backed, regime of payment by results, Sport England and its partners are determined to deliver.”

FA General Secretary, Alex Horne, said: “Football welcomes the Sport England strategy and the increased focus on youth.

“A priority will be taking 2,000 local football clubs into secondary schools across the country, offering expert coaching and creating the strong ties that will help young people make the move from school sport to community sport.”

Funding boost for School Games programme

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy was given a further boost with news of an extra £32m of funding for the School Games programme – an initiative in which school children in England compete at intra-school, inter-school, county and national level.

New money pledged from the Department of Health (£14m), Sainsbury’s (£10m) and Sport England (£8m) means the initiative will be extended from two to four years, up to 2015, while adidas will provide sports kit to the 1,600 athletes reaching the national finals at the Olympic stadium and other Olympic venues.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We are absolutely determined to leave a real and lasting legacy for young people from London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Sainsbury’s School Games will help do just that.

“The fantastic funding package shows the commitment to completely transform competitive sport in schools.  I want to thank Sainsbury’s and adidas for their generosity in helping to secure the future of the School Games beyond 2012.”

Check out the new youth sport strategy – Creating a sporting habit for life (pdf).

Find out more about the School Games programme on the Sport England website.

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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3 Comments

  1. daz wilkie on January 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    anybody any ideas how you become one of the community sports clubs and get connected to your local senior school. just spoke to sports england and the lady didnt seem to know what i was asking about, any help would be good

    cheers
    DAZ

  2. Jeremy Meadowcroft on February 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Who has the database of us as an FA Charter Status Football Club, or our local High School to decide if we are one of the 2000 local clubs this initiative is aimed at matching ?

  3. Jacqui cole on September 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I am a parent of three primary school aged children who is desperate to try and get an all weather pitch put in at their school.It is of course down to money so I wondered whether you could advise me as to how I could get the funding for this project.Everyone says that the youth of today are getting fatter,but the problem is that when it is wet they are not allowed outside to play!
    Many thanks
    Jacqui cole

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