Hundreds of grassroots sports clubs share in £19.4 million Olympic legacy boost
• £19.4m being distributed to 377 community sports projects in every part of England as part of the Olympic legacy
• Funding for legacy programme increased by £15 million thanks to strong sales of National Lottery tickets
• Sport England invites more London sports clubs to bid for the next £10 million of Lottery investment in its Inspired Facilities Programme
Young gymnasts in Newham, East London, will be able to develop their skills on a new sprung floor after the West Silvertown Foundation in East London, secured £50,000 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England. The facility will also be used for cheer-leading and a wide range of dance and exercise classes.
The project is one of 26 across London celebrating today after being offered investment from the Inspired Facilities Fund – part of the Places People Play legacy programme. All the facilities will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark – celebrating the link to the Games.
Even more local sports clubs could benefit as Sport England launched another £10 million funding round of Inspired Facilities.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said: “There’s a lot to celebrate as we welcome the world’s greatest athletes to London, but what happens to our local sports facilities in 2012 is just as important. The £19m investment we’re announcing today means people in every part of England will see improved sports facilities on their own doorsteps.”
The investments announced today will breathe new life into tired facilities that can be unattractive to sports participants and difficult to maintain and run. Grants have also been offered to convert existing buildings into venues that are suitable for grassroots sport and to allow local clubs to buy the facilities they use.
Responding to strong demand from sports clubs, the budget for the latest round of Inspired Facilities has been doubled – an increase made possible by an increase of £15 million to Sport England’s Olympic legacy programme thanks to strong sales of lottery tickets.
Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson said: “Hosting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games give us an opportunity to put sport in the spotlight and encourage more people to participate. That’s exactly what Places People Play is about. It’s already having a positive impact on grassroots sport in communities up and down the country and the additional £15 million will spread that further, helping to leave a real sports legacy long after the Games.”
In addition to the awards announced today, sports playing fields and facilities in London had already received £5,438,508.00 through Sport England’s Places People Play legacy programme. In addition, 11,300 young people in the East have got into sport through Sportivate, 2,329 people from the region have been inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics to become a Sport Maker and over 6,680 have signed up to do a sporting challenge for charity through Gold Challenge.
Five-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Steve Redgrave today visited Britannia Village Hall to present a cheque to many of the London projects benefitting from the fund. He said: “Already this legacy programme has brought sporting opportunities to every corner of the country.
“So wherever you live you too can be part of it, whether that’s making sport happen in your neighbourhood as a Sport Maker or getting out there and enjoying sport at decent local facilities.”
Other investments in London include:
• £95,000 for the London Borough of Merton towards the development of two new multi-use games areas at the Canons Recreation Ground.
• £50,000 to Ickenham Cricket Club to enhance its changing facilities which will allow the club to run male and female matches concurrently.
• £97,719 to the London Borough of Southwark to refurbish the sports hall at Camberwell baths.
Places People Play is being delivered by Sport England. We are working in partnership with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA) with the backing of The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and the London 2012 Inspire mark.
LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe, said: “This is a fantastic funding project that will deliver a real legacy from the London 2012 Games. It will provide a whole range of sporting opportunities for young people through improved facilities and will I hope inspire them to take up sport.”
Sport England’s Active People Survey shows that the total number of adults in London taking part in sport at least once a week has risen from 2,126,000 in 2005-06, when the Olympic bid was won, to 2,342,900.