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Football clubs pledge Olympic legacy support

Tue 10th Jan 2012 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt unveils £1 billion strategy to deliver on 2012 Games promise to inspire a generation to get involved in sport

Under the plans every secondary school in England will host a community sports club with football pledging 2000 clubs will be linked with the scheme, as part the new strategy to encourage young people to play sport for life.

The move is a key part of a £1 billion, five-year youth and community sport strategy published today that will deliver on Lord Coe’s 2012 Games bid promise to inspire a generation to get involved in sport.

The strategy, to be delivered by Sport England, will see new school-based sports clubs established with links to one or more sports’ national governing bodies. Expert coaches will run sessions to help create strong ties between schools and local sports clubs already in existence in their area. Football has pledged that 2,000 of their clubs will be linked to secondary schools by 2017, rugby union 1,300 clubs, cricket, 1,250 clubs and rugby league and tennis 1,000 clubs each.


“Despite huge investment of public funds since we won the right to host the Games, participation by young people in sport has been falling,” said Jeremy Hunt.

“We need a radical change in policy to address the deep-seated problem of people dropping out of sport when they leave school. Our bold approach will see money going to organisations that deliver on youth participation, but also withdrawn quickly from those which fail to meet agreed objectives.”

Alex Horne, General Secretary of the FA, said; “Football welcomes the Sport England strategy and the increased focus on youth participation. A priority will be taking 2,000 local football clubs into secondary schools across the country, offering expert coaching and creating the strong ties that will help young people make the move from school sport to community sport.”

Also, for the first time, funding will be made available to open up school sport facilities for wider public use.  Three-quarters of sports halls and artificial pitches and a third of swimming pools in England are located on school sites and £10 million of funding will enable communities to make the most of these local sporting assets.


£100 million will be invested in creating the clubs and tackling the drop-off in sports participation that can happen when young people leave school. Of this, £50 million will be invested to boost sport provision at further education colleges and universities.


The funding will also provide a full-time sports professional for at least 150 further education colleges, to drive forward innovative sports provision.


Around £450 million will go to sports governing bodies between 2013 and 2017 for their ‘whole sport plans.’ Around 60 per cent will benefit young people aged 14 – 25 so that sports are completely focussed on helping to drive a sporting habit for life. The remaining 40 per cent will be aimed at the rest of the population. Funding to governing bodies will be on a payments-by-results basis with sports that fail to deliver putting their public funding at risk.

Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said; “Changing the sporting behaviour of a generation is a major challenge, which has not been achieved by any other Olympic host nation. With a new focus on young people and an even tougher, Government backed, regime of payment by results, Sport England and its partners are determined to deliver.”

The plans also include an additional £160 million to improve the nation’s sports facility stock between 2012 and 2017, building on Sport England’s existing £90 million ‘Places, People, Play’ legacy facilities investment, while a new £40 million local sport fund will also be set up to help local authorities improve sport provision.

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