Sport England Update – Dec 2016

Thursday 1st December 2016

Tackling inactivity: your essential guides

We have learnt so much already about how we can work together to tackle inactivity – and we’ve developed resources to help you get inactive people more active. Tackling inactivity is one of the key areas of work that underpins our new strategy Towards an Active Nation. It follows on from the work we’ve already done with partners to explore the ways we engage and support inactive people to become active – and now we’ve developed a series of guides to help inactive people become more active.

Looking ahead

We have learnt so much already about how we can work together to tackle inactivity. An analysis of this insight, along with the evaluation from Sporta’s Make Your Move projects, highlighted 10 key principles for developing projects and services to tackle inactivity. We have also developed other resources to help organisations understand the design principles and access more detail about what has been learnt to date.

We hope that they will add value to the existing wealth of guidance and learning from other organisations and physical activity professionals around tackling inactivity.

Our long-term ambition is to make physical activity the norm and decrease inactivity on a large scale. We look forward to working alongside partners on the delivery of this important work.


View the full details

Focus on: local delivery pilots

In the third of our series looking at our Active Nation funding, we take a closer look at our 10 local delivery pilots Every town, city or rural area is unique – and the characteristics of each can have a direct influence on what the sporting offer is like for a customer.

If transport is poor, it’s harder for people to get to parks or local gyms. If it’s a community with lower than average incomes, paid-for activities could be a barrier to taking part. If the activities on offer are just for the sporty, many will be deterred.

We can make sport and physical activity an attractive, easy choice for people if we tap into expert local knowledge and take account of people’s needs. And think about not just ‘what’ we provide, but ‘how’. To get this right is a big challenge.

Customer first

To create popular sport and activity offers on a large scale requires those who provide sport to work together differently. To put the customer first by joining up what they do. And it’s likely to mean a greater role for non-sporting organisations already trusted and working in communities.

What are we looking for?

  • We want to hear from local partners and organisations who work collectively to make up the ‘system’ and aspire to improve local communities. They will be clear on the role sport and physical activity can play towards broader social outcomes such as personal and community development.
  • We expect to work with Public Health England, other government departments and Lottery distributors to identify the right locations to work in – and to work alongside us to deliver the pilots.
  • We would like to look at – and potentially work with – the whole of the sport infrastructure in an area, not just that provided by the public or third sector. For example, if you’re able to work with facilities such as local professional clubs and other commercial providers, we’d be really interested to hear from you.
  • We particularly welcome groups of organisations or consortia with an appetite for change and a thirst to get more people taking part, and groups who can help achieve this. It’s important to recognise that what we call the ‘supply side’ of sport can broaden and evolve.
  • We’re looking to fund pilot projects in both urban and rural areas, covering different parts of England. We think the right partners working together will best define the size of the pilot area – but we don’t anticipate supporting pilots that focus on very small areas such as an individual street. Nor will we fund larger ‘regions’, such as the whole of the South West of England, as it would be much harder to draw together the whole system over such a wide area
  • We’re not asking for official bids at this stage – more a description of the partners who would be involved, how you’ve worked together, your place and its people.

What support will be available?

In December, we will set out what help is available to those who are interested in becoming a pilot project. This will include advice and guidance from our local staff as well as holding a number of working sessions.

Need to know facts:

  • Name of fund: Local Delivery Pilots
  • Value: Up to £130 million for a number of pilots over 4 years
  • Opening: Expressions of interest opening December 2016
  • Identify pilots able to move forward: March 2017.
  • Initial awards: Summer of 2017 onwards

View the full details

New push for greater board diversity

We’re teaming up with Sporting Equals and UK Sport to help make sports boardrooms more diverse. The need for greater diversity on national governing body boards and senior teams is bigger than ever.

Just 26 out of 601 board positions are currently filled by professionals within ethnically diverse communities, according to latest figures from Sport Equals.

Creating opportunities

These figures follow swiftly on from the new Code for Sports Governance announced last month. The new code sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that will be required from those who ask for Government and National Lottery funding from April 2017.

It also outlines the new gold standards of governance considered to be among the most advanced in the world, including increasing diversity at the heads of sports bodies and organisations.

That’s why we’re supporting Sporting Equals to help the sports sector work proactively to create more opportunities for candidates within ethnically diverse communities.

The Sporting Equals LeaderBoard Programme will sit alongside the newly-created LeaderBoard Academy announced today, and provide training, mentoring and coaching support for candidates to ensure they are ‘board ready’.  View the full news item

New volunteering strategy published

We take a closer look at our new volunteering strategy and some of the early funding opportunities it presents. In the past, volunteering in sport has been seen as something people do for the benefit of others. Whether it’s marshalling a fun run, managing money, driving people from A to B (and back) or even washing the muddy kit on a Sunday afternoon, it’s always been the participants that everyone is focused on. That’s about to change.

Our new volunteering strategy, Volunteering in an Active Nation, accompanied by a number of new funding opportunities, puts the experience of the volunteer and a drive to increase diversity at the heart of efforts to support volunteers. After all, without them most community sport simply wouldn’t happen.

Download Volunteering in an Active Nation

The double benefit of volunteering

When we set out to develop our first ever volunteering strategy, our research uncovered a truth about volunteering. It’s the double benefit of giving your time.

Working with a range of expert partners including academics, the NCVO Institute for Volunteering Research and the National Citizen Service, we’ve discovered powerful evidence that shows that giving your time can improve your health, reduce stress, build confidence and improve your skills. That means volunteers who give their time to make sport happen in their community enjoy many of the benefits associated with actually taking part in sport.

New funding opportunities

In January 2017, we’re launching two new funds to support projects for groups where we’ve identified significant untapped potential. We’ll publish full details of how to apply in January, and the funds will open for applications in February.

Need to know facts:

  • Name of funds: Opportunity Fund and Potentials Fund
  • Investment guides: January 2017
  • Opening: February 2017
  • Awards: June 2017

Read more

Coaching plan for England launches

Coaching in an Active Nation aims to shake up the way we think about and deliver coaching. A warm welcome, jargon-free communication and a relaxed environment are all part of our new plan to bring the benefits of good coaching to everybody.

Coaching in an Active Nation: The Coaching Plan for England aims to shake up the way we think about and deliver coaching.

Download our new coaching plan

With figures showing a third all of people who don’t play sport saying that a coach would encourage them to start, redefining what it means to coach is one of the important first steps.

Good coaches inspire people to get active and stay active – and, importantly, good coaching is good for everyone.

Time for a rethink

Whether it’s guiding people that are dipping their toe into sport and activity for the first time, accompanying others on a journey of improvement or supporting talented athletes, coaches help individuals progress faster and further than they could on their own.

While the current fantastic work of the coaching community shouldn’t be undervalued, the need for a coaching rethink is clear.

With 37 per cent of people within ethnically diverse communities playing sport once a week but only five per cent of qualified coaches being from Ethnically Diverse Community backgrounds, making coaches more reflective of the customers they serve is a priority.

Likewise, only 17 per cent of coaches are female, but almost one in three women play sport and get active regularly.

Developed following consultation with coaches, coach educators and national governing bodies of sport, The Coaching Plan for England will see:

  • The recruitment of 1,000 new apprentice coaches
  • Review current coaching qualifications to bring new skills into the sector, improve delivery and ensure more coaches are safe to practice
  • The creation of a more diverse network of coaches, better able to engage underrepresented groups
  • New digital ways of learning coaching skills to attract a broader range of people into the role.

Find out more

Active People Survey – record number of women get active

Figures show surge in the number of women playing sport and getting active. More than 7.2 million women now play sport and do regular physical activity – 250,000 more than when we launched our This Girl Can campaign. It means the gender gap, which once stood at over two million, has narrowed to 1.55 million.

The latest figures from our Active People Survey shows more people than ever are getting active. The number now stands at 15.97 million people over the age of 16 playing sport weekly. That’s up 229,400 from 12 months ago.

Keep fit sessions and going to the gym remain hugely popular, with the number of people taking part every week reaching 7.10 million, up 286,400 in the last 12 months. Exercise classes, like spinning, pilates and boxercise, continue to attract large numbers of people, especially women. Independent data from a recent industry report by The Leisure Database Company Open in a new window supports this trend, showing that more space in local authority leisure centres is being dedicated to studios. Almost half (44 per cent) of all gyms are owned by local authorities.

Demographic groups In addition to the increase in women getting active every week, more people from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds (2.92 million) are playing sport. This means you’re more likely to be active if you’re from these communities (37.5 per cent) than if you’re white British (35.9 per cent). Young people are also slightly more active, with 3.83 million 16 to 25 year olds playing sport once a week. This is a modest increase of 3,700 compared to 12 months ago and 151,200 higher than in 2006.

Find out more about our latest figures: National picture Local picture Breakdown by sport

View the full news item

Precious playing fields are protected

New data shows playing fields across the country are being protected against development. Our latest figures show that 91 per cent of all resolved planning applications that involved a playing field in 2014/15 resulted in improved or secured facilities.

Download the latest figures

One of our roles as the government body responsible for grassroots sport is to object to developments on playing fields if the provision of sport and activity will be negatively affected.

We will often negotiate a new facility being built or existing pitches being upgraded so that people are able to get active in their local area.

This year’s numbers match the previous year, in which 92 per cent of planning applications affecting playing fields (1,176 out of 1,272) resulted in improved or protected sport facilities.

Headline statistics

  • 91 per cent (1139 out of 1254) of concluded planning applications affecting playing fields resulted in improved or safeguarded sports provision
  • In 43 per cent of the cases where we originally objected to an application, our intervention and further negotiation led to an overall improvement in sports provision
  • The rest (57 per cent) were either withdrawn, refused by the local authority or are yet to be determined
  • Despite our objections during the planning process, 115 applications (9 per cent) were approved by local planning authorities.

View the full news item