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Yorkshire Sport Foundation among first to receive system partner funding from Sport England

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Posted 10th March 2022

Yorkshire Sport Foundation (YSF) is among the first group of over 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to receive funding from its new funding model.  

The charity will receive an investment of £7.18m of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England. As the Active Partnership for South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, YSF has been awarded long-term funding because it has committed to co-deliver change at a national and local level, to help more people enjoy the benefits of playing sport and being active.

All partner organisations were selected by Sport England due to their ability to influence positive change and improvement throughout the sector, their own networks, and beyond.  This is the first step on a journey to revolutionise Sport England’s approach to long-term partnerships which will see it build new relationships with innovative organisations, as well with existing partners, local partners and delivery partners to further the 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.

The funding will enable Yorkshire Sport Foundation to work with and connect a wide range of organisations to make it easier and more enjoyable for people to be active and play sport.

It will provide a core team to work with partners on strategic plans to embed physical activity in their work whilst also improving opportunities where people live and work. This includes work related to walking and cycling, designing active places, ensuring children can be active throughout the school day and to support community sports clubs to thrive.

Over £193 million is being invested for this first group, with the 43 partners including YSF 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.

Nigel Harrison, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Sport Foundation, commented: “We’d like to thank Sport England for their continued trust in our organisation to connect, influence and support the sport and physical activity sector across the two counties.

“Clearly we have always believed in the power of movement, physical activity and sport, and as our learning has developed we have become more confident in making the case for the role it can play in vibrant and healthy communities.

“We certainly can’t – and don’t – do this alone. It’s thanks to relationships with a host of fantastic partners across a number of different sectors that collectively we have made progress towards a collective ambition. Inequalities still exist, and insight tells us that the last couple of years has seen these be exacerbated. While we have achieved plenty and learnt more, there’s a collective determination and will to do much more.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “Sport England’s Uniting the Movement strategy aims to help everyone play sport and get active– no matter who they are, where they live, or what their background. But we know that certain groups are more likely to be inactive and need targeted support and investment. We can only innovate and tackle these inequalities effectively with collective action, recognising that this is about long-term change.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation is one of a huge number of partners we are looking to work with on exactly this over the coming years.  They play a foundational role within the sport and physical activity sector and are therefore well-placed to create the conditions for change.  They will also act as a resource for other innovative organisations with the same goals as we seek to create a more equal society with everyone benefitting from sport and physical activity.”

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