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New funding to diversify sport volunteer workforce

04 November 2020

AoC Sport is launching a new fund so that colleges can attract a wider range of volunteers to their sport and physical activity programmes. The Development Fund is for colleges who are part of the AoC Sport Leadership Academy and who are committed to diversifying their student volunteer workforce. Up to £800 of funding can be used for an innovative project or programme, which focuses on recruiting new volunteers from under-represented groups. These include disabled students, students from a BAME background, female students, LBGTQ+ students or students from lower socio-economic groups. The aim of the Leadership Academy is to ensure the workforce is fully representative of the college population it serves and currently this is not the case. AoC Sport’s volunteering data shows that female, BAME and disabled students were under-represented in sport and physical activity volunteer roles in 2019/20. Data from the British Active Student Survey 2020 shows that these groups were also less active than their male, white and non-disabled peers. While we are not suggesting this is a causal link, increasing the diversity of the volunteer workforce could be an important step in increasing the diversity of participation in sport and physical activity.

Fund Criteria

To access the fund colleges must meet the following criteria:
  • Be an AoC Sport Leadership Academy college
  • Target new sport and physical activity volunteers from at least one of the target groups
  • Complete projects by June 2021


Colleges will need to confirm the amount of funding they are applying for and submit a basic project plan including initial outcomes and outputs. These plans will then be refined with a member of AoC Sport staff. Successful colleges will also receive ongoing support from AoC Sport Development and Project officers and promotion of college and project achievement through AoC Sport media channels. Applications will be assessed on five key criteria:
  • Feasibility
  • Volunteering programme track record
  • A focus on under-represented groups
  • A high-quality student volunteer experience
  • Challenging but achievable KPIs


Colleges that receive the Development Fund will be asked to:
  • Achieve KPIs that are set in agreement between the college and AoC Sport
  • Submit an impact report to include:
    • Demographic participant information
    • Brief written report of the project’s impact
    • Minimum of 1x student story/journey
    • Action plan to take the project to the next level including sustainability

Timeline and application process

Colleges can apply for the fund from Monday 16 November until Wednesday 9 December by completing this application form.

Webinar - Thursday 12 November 3pm-4pm

To learn more about the Development Fund and the application process, register for our webinar at 3pm on Thursday 12 November. It’s a chance to hear the rationale for the introduction of the fund and get guidance on the application process and what a successful application should include. If you are a Leadership Academy college and have any questions please contact Alix Jenner or Gray Mytton.