FA partners with Sport England in tackling inequalities through #UnitingtheMovement

Tuesday 10 May 2022

The FA is amongst a group of over 120 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to level up access to sport and physical activity across the country. 

We will receive expertise, support and an investment of £26 million of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitious of its 10-year 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.

This new funding will build on the success of recent programmes such as the Women’s Euro Legacy funding for Women’s Recreational Football, by supporting the Women & Girls and Disability talent pathways and also help more people from under-represented and lower socio-economic groups engage with playing grassroots football and getting active. 

Over £550million is being invested in total, with the partners including The FA 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.  

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 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.”

James Kendall, our Director of Football Development, said: “We, alongside Sport England, are fully aligned in our goal to use sport and grassroots football in particular to change people’s lives by bringing communities together, encouraging people to get active and ultimately improving the health and wellbeing of millions of individuals across the nation.  This new funding approach from Sport England will allow us to focus on supporting football infrastructure and governance, whilst further strengthening our collaboration in supporting grassroots football to revive and thrive after the Covid-19 pandemic, a key focus of our Grassroots Strategy. The investment will have a hugely positive impact on the grassroots game at all levels, and encourage people to play, regardless of age, background or ability.”

By FA Staff