Athletics receives £22m million boost
18 December 2012
Sport England has announced it plans to invest £22m in supporting athletics through the work of England Athletics from 2013-2017.
The four year funding period will take effect from April 2013 and will be subject to specific conditions. England Athletics have said the news is an endorsement of the work done by volunteers across the sport, particularly in clubs, as well as the staff who have worked to support them, and provides a great opportunity to build the future of the sport. The announcement follows on from Sport England revealing earlier this month that their adult participation survey figures for athletics had risen above 2million. EA has also recently disclosed that the number of competing athletes registered with the NGB has surpassed previous records with over 124,000 athletes currently affiliated.
Peter King, Chair of England Athletics said, “Over recent years the staff of England Athletics have worked to support our sport’s coaches, clubs, teachers, officials and other volunteers who do an invaluable job in delivering the sport that is enjoyed by so many people. Clubs across England, staffed largely by volunteers, do a tremendous job of supporting athletes of all ages, all disciplines, all abilities and all aspirations in their involvement in the sport.
Peter continued, “There is no room for any complacency or sense of automatic entitlement. It is healthy for us as an organisation and as a sport to be mindful of that. We must always strive to make all our work effective and sustainable. We should build for the long term and be looking at how we can achieve the highest possible levels of self-sufficiency while offering value for money for every pound of public money we receive. This is something we need to consider as we now plan for the coming years.”
The Sport England funding recognises the huge growth in recreational running over recent years, and £8.8m of the grant is ring fenced to delivery of plans to attract even greater numbers over the next four years through ‘informal’ running groups, marked jogging trails and urban running schemes.
However, there are areas of work Sport England funding will not cover, for example, Sport England does not fund any provision for under 14s meaning that funding for work in schools and young athletes must come from elsewhere.
Peter concluded, “We will have to find other ways of resourcing specific activities that benefit athletics which Sport England funding does not cover or that commercial sponsors may have covered before.”
Further information on Sport England Whole Sport Plan (WSP) investment can be read via www.sportengland.org.