Sported selected for new partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund

By Sported | 1st October 2021

Sported is today delighted to announce a new 3-year partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund aiming to tackle inequality, improve wellbeing and build community cohesion.The National Lottery Community Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

The grant will be used to bring to life Sported’s Reach.Include.Empower 2021-2025 strategy which will enable a specific focus on three areas: firstly, responding to the clearly identified concerns around young people’s mental health, Sported will expand our mental health work, focused on building leaders’ confidence and capabilities, creating new partnerships and helping group leaders to access the right training and support.

Secondly, Sported will be upscaling it’s place-based focus by bringing group leaders together to address issues of shared concern. In phase one, the focus will be on two locations: Hartlepool and Isle of Wight, where we will facilitate a programme of work that builds on initial consultations with community groups and partners in order to tackle local issues impacting on young people and challenges facing the groups themselves.

Lastly, the partnership will turbocharge Sported’s desire to better tackle the inequalities that exist in grassroots sport. Through the recruitment of a new Strategic EDI and a Race Equity Lead. Sported will, amongst other things, respond to the insight generated from group leaders of ethnically diverse groups. A primary focus will be the development of a new, independent Black Leaders Network, highlighted through our insight as a key vehicle for change within the sector.

These three strands of activity will together support the development of a confident, well-connected ‘workforce’ of leaders across the grassroots community sport sector. Moreover, they will connect our diverse, under-supported, less connected groups with the broader community ‘ecosystem’ to increase recognition of their value and ensure their future sustainability.

“I am so delighted that Sported and the National Lottery Community Fund are working in partnership. Together I know they will use sport to make a really positive impact in tackling inequality. They will also help to improve young people’s wellbeing and support community groups to tackle the local problems they face.” 

– Eric Dier, Sported ambassador and Tottenham Hotspur defender

Eric Dier Sported

Jo Boddington, Bodster Equine Assisted Learning CIC on the Isle of Wight said:

“We are really excited that Sported is going to be part of this Community Fund project with the National Lottery. Already we have received immense support from Sported. – thank you to Sported! We know that this will mean more opportunities as a result for the Isle of Wight. We are excited to discover how things will progress as a result and hope we will be able to be part of the new developments coming in the near future.”

“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund. The pandemic has proved – if proof were needed – that the 2,572 groups in our network are vital and highly effective community assets, fiercely committed to improving the lives of children and young people.

Support from The National Lottery Community Fund will help us develop and implement the themes outlined in our strategy, achieving a step-change in how we work with our groups.”

-Nicola Walker, Sported CEO

Sported is the UK’s largest network of sport for good groups. We exist to reach, include, and empower communities through the sustainable local provision of sport and physical activity. We want every young person to have the same chance of fulfilling their potential. We achieve this by helping grassroots community groups survive, to help young people thrive.

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