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AoC Sport receive Sport England funding to tackle inactivity

23 May 2022

Female disability

AoC Sport is amongst a group of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.

We will receive expertise, support and an investment of £1.5m of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitious of its 10-year Uniting the Movement strategy.

Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – like women, people with long-term health conditions, disabled people, people from ethnically diverse communities and lower socio-economic groups. Right now, the opportunities to get involved in sport and activity – and reap the rewards of being active – depend too much on your background, your gender, your bank balance and your postcode.

We will use evidence led approach to ensure the college ecosystem provides opportunities for underrepresented groups to be active. Working in collaboration we want sport and physical activity to be seen as an essential part of college life by ALL students, colleges, and policy makers. We will use insight to represent colleges and their students to ensure that through whole systems approach we are able to tackle the inequalities that exist. We will also We will pilot innovative programmes that can be scaled up to deliver sustainable change.

Over £550million is being invested in total, with the partners including AoC Sport receiving funding for up to five years. This new funding model from Sport England provides longer-term financial security as organisations recover and reinvent from the Covid-19 pandemic.

All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence change and improvement at the heart of the system they are a part of, no matter how big or small. This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships as it seeks to partner and collaborate with innovative organisations to deliver Uniting the Movement and build a nation where everyone can get active.

Sport England’s goal is to get everyone active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background is. But we know that certain groups – like disabled students or those from less affluent communities – are more likely to be inactive. We can only innovate and tackle inequalities effectively by thinking about long-term change; Uniting the Movement is a long-term vision, and our funding approach needs to reflect that. Changes to our funding model will help us achieve our goal, by making it easier for our partners to do what they need to do to level up and deliver.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England

Everyone at AoC Sport is delighted that our partnership with Sport England will continue for the next four years, as a system partner. Sport and physical activity play a huge role in providing an enriching and positive experience for students in colleges and the wider FE sector and we are committed to working with Sport England and other system partners to create meaningful opportunities for young people and adults in post-16 education to access the best possible provision. That might be high quality participation opportunities, leadership programmes or targeted work to increase volunteering. We share Sport England’s commitment to tackling the inequalities that exist in access to sport and physical activity and strongly believe that the FE sector has a huge role to play in ensuring that everyone in our society gets to experience the many benefits of being physically active

Dean Hardman, Director of Sport and Student Experience, Association of Colleges