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10 May 2022 | 8:08

The Sport for Development Coalition is among a group of more than 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country.  

Over the next five years the Coalition will receive expertise, support and investment of Government and National Lottery funding to co-deliver Sport England’s 10-year ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy. This builds on support for the Coalition from Sport England over the last three years, alongside Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good. 

In total, over £550million is being invested across the sector via Sport England. 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. 

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “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 – especially those supported by Coalition members – 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.” 

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Andy Reed OBE, Chair of the Coalition, said: “On behalf of the network, I would like to thank Sport England for its ongoing support and investment in the collective action of the Coalition. 

“Our members work predominantly in those communities and with those individuals that have been affected most by the pandemic, because that is where the key health and societal inequalities they are addressing are greatest. The Coalition looks forward to playing a key role in the delivery of the Uniting The Movement strategy with its focus on disproportionately investing more in the people and places that need more support.”


The Coalition is a UK-wide network of more than 230 charities and organisations over-arching thousands of projects and programmes using sport and physical activity to intentionally generate positive health and societal outcomes. 

  • Sport England research shows that some groups are typically less active – such as 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. 
  • Sport for development focuses on those communities in the greatest need of levelling up. An analysis of almost 35,000 beneficiaries across leading sport for development interventions showed that 64% of participants were from the 30% most deprived areas of the country. 
  • The new investment will directly support the Coalition’s strategic ambition to scale its impact, and create an enabling policy environment. It will do this by collectively building advocacy and a united voice for the sector, influencing policy and unlocking significant additional investment for sport for development initiatives and organisations. 
  • The multiple returns on investment that sport for development provides – as defined by the recently-launched ‘Open Goal’ framework – can help to reduce public spending while also supporting the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. An ongoing campaign based on the framework will showcase the contribution of sport and physical activity to building a fairer, more equitable and sustainable future, and help to grow the Coalition.