Sport Makers: be a sporting hero

Five-time Olympic Gold medalist, Sir Steve Redgrave, today unveiled a new way for people to become sporting heroes in their local community.

Sir Steve, our greatest Olympian, has joined forces with Sport England to launch Sport Makers, a programme for everyone who’d like to make sport happen for their friends, neighbours or colleagues.

Sir Steve said: “You don’t need medals to become a sporting hero. By helping people you know to get involved in sport you’ll be doing something amazing for your friends and local community as well as having fun yourself.

“The thing I want to see more than anything is more people out enjoying what sport has to offer, but we need your help to make it happen.

“So why not take your first step to becoming a sporting hero and visit”

Sport Makers aims to inspire over 40,000 people to get involved, with each of them spending at least 10 hours organising or leading sporting activities. It is open to anyone aged 16 and over.

Backed by the British Olympic Association and £4 million of National Lottery funding, Sport Makers is part of the Places People Play legacy programme that is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games into communities across the country.

Every Sport Maker will be invited to an informal and interactive workshop where they’ll gain the skills and opportunities to get involved in sport in their area. Sport Makers will be introduced to organisations that need their help, and join forces with others who want to make sport happen locally. There’ll also be opportunities to meet top athletes and plenty of incentives to stay involved.

By taking part in Sport Makers, and completing your 10 hours, you could secure tickets to the greatest show on earth: Sport Makers and London 2012 are working together to give people the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “This is a great chance to get involved in making sport happen, whether that’s planning the route, finding the pitch or encouraging others to take part.

“So if you think you could help, or have your own ideas for getting others involved in sport, please join in as a Sport Maker and become part of the legacy of the London 2012 Games.”

Today’s launch was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP. He said: “The volunteers that help out at local sports clubs up and down the country are the foundations of community sport. The new Sport Makers initiative is a key part of the London 2012 sports legacy and will help community sports clubs across the country get more people playing sport.”

Over 50% of adults in England say they’d like to play more sport, but many people don’t feel they have the time, money or confidence to get involved in a formal setting.

BOA Chair, Lord Moynihan, said:

“Sport Makers will help contribute to an active and vibrant grassroots sporting environment, through which opportunities for people of all ages to participate in sport will be expanded. It will reinforce the ideals of the Olympic and Paralympic movement, demonstrating how they are relevant to every level of sport.”

Visit to find out more and sign up.

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Sport England funded projects named as National Lottery Award finalists

Three Sport England funded projects are in with a chance of winning one of the National Lottery Awards.

The ceremony is an annual event which aims to find the nations favourite Lottery funded projects and celebrate the difference they make to local communities.

The awards fall into seven categories to reflect the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, voluntary/charity, environment, health and education. The public are urged to show their support and cast a vote to decide who will win the title in each category.

 The sport category finalists are:

  •  Active Newcastle
    Newcastle City Council was awarded £341,000 of Lottery funding to run a project to get more people involved in exercise and physical activity more often in the run up to London 2012. The project now runs a diverse programme of 80 sessions per week in locations ranging from offices blocks to sports halls in small estates.
  • Chase Trails Cycle Project
    Around 100,000 people have got on their bike in Cannock Chase thanks to a network of cycle trails building by the Forestry Commision in partnership with the local community. The project received£131,000 of Lottery funding from Sport England.

  • The Bluebird Care Hampshire Disability Cricket Programme
    For disabled people, finding a club to play cricket at can be difficult. A Sport England Lottery award of just £30,000 helped Hampshire Cricket Board to employ a fulltime cricket development officer with a remit to focus exclusively on developing a disability cricket programme. The scheme has three teams – one for people with visual impairments, two for players with physical and learning disabilities. However its main priority is to promote the inclusion of disabled cricketers within mainstream clubs. Over 1,000 players have now been involved.“The National Lottery Awards recognise the immense impact that Lottery-funded projects have on people and communities across theUK

National Lottery Show host and supporter of the awards, Mylene Klass, said:

“The National Lottery Awards recognise the immense impact that Lottery-funded projects have on people and communities across theUK

“Lottery players raise a massive £28 million a week for Good Causes, that’s almost £3,000 every minute.  This funds something for everyone from big projects like museums and art galleries to helping local sport, heritage and community groups.

“These finalists showcase the selfless volunteers and unsung heroes who are using Lottery funding to improve the lives of others.  This is your final chance to pay tribute to them by voting for your favourite project.  Please get behind your local project and secure them national recognition – every vote counts!”

Voting closes at midday on 26th September – vote for your favourite by visiting

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Latest from the pitch

StreetGames is able to run a series of multi-sport festivals thanks to Sport England matching the investment it received from Coca-Cola GB

Sportsmatch opens for business to benefit sport
Sport England is again encouraging clubs acrossEngland to see how they can benefit from the Sportsmatch programme.

Already this year, StreetGames has received £100,000 to match the investment it’s received from Coca-Cola GB to run a series of multi-sport festivals inspired by the London 2012 Games.

This Sportsmatch programme brings additional funding to not-for-profit organisations that have secured sponsorship from the commercial sector, private individuals or charitable trusts to deliver new projects that get people playing and enjoying sport.

Find out more» 

Legacy momentum builds as year-to-go London 2012 milestone is passed
With less than a year to go to the London 2012 Olympic Games, Sport England’s work to build a legacy of increased mass participation continues.

This weekend, local residents were given a glimpse of our first Iconic Facility as Manchester’s brand new £24m National BMX Centre, held an open day for the community before its official opening later this year.

While over 1900 organisations including sports clubs and community groups have attended Sport England workshops to find out how they can apply for funding from the Inspired Facilities programme

Find out more»  

Sport England signs charter to tackle homophobia in sport 
As part of the drive to tackle homophobia in sport, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, Sport Scotland, Sport Wales and UK Sport last week jointly signed up to the Government Equalities Office (GEO) Charter on Homophobia and Transphobia in Sport.

The aim of the charter is to make sport a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Sport England joins the likes of the Lawn Tennis Association, the Football Association, the Rugby Football League and the Rugby Football Union as
well as sports stars including Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King and Gareth Thomas in signing up
to the charter.

Find out more»

Visit Sport England’s website:

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24 hours of Touch Rugby League

Over 800 people took part in the RFL organised 24 hour Touch Rugby League World Record attempt which was played from 8am on June 29 to 8am June 30 at Salford City College to raise money for the Christie Charity.

There was a number of special guests taking part including club mascots, former professional players, England players, journalists, and RFL staff and the organisers are awaiting official verification from Guinness to confirm the new World Record.

The Steve Prescott Foundation entered an all-star team which included former professional players such as Paul Sculthorpe to take on challengers in the evening.

Steve Prescott MBE said: “It was fantastic to take part in such a well organised event. The Christie is close to my heart and it is great to see the Rugby League Community get together to tackle Cancer.

“I hope next year we can double the amount of participants!”

Teams and players arrived throughout the day to take part including 150 pupils from Wade Deacon High School and the event finished with a Game of Hope featuring current cancer patients, previous and family members of patients with Christie hospital staff.

A team of journalists which consisted of players from national media outlets such as the Guardian, People, Radio Manchester took on the England Women team.

Andy Wilson from the Guardian said: “We were bowled over by the scale of the event, the quality of the organisation and the feelgood factor on the night. We were also grateful to some sympathetic refereeing for flattering our efforts against the England women, who were very impressive.”

Check out SLTV footage of the RFL ‘Guinness World Record’ attempt for 24 hours of continuous touch rugby league!

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Young people urged to get out and give sport a go

Sport England has launched a £32 million Lottery programme to get 300,000 young people playing sport.

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults are set to benefit from a new sports programme that aims to fulfil the legacy promise made by Seb Coe in Singapore in 2005 to ‘inspire young people to choose sport’.

Sportivate will give 14- to 25-year-olds the chance to receive six to eight weeks of coaching in a sport of their choice – helping those who aren’t currently playing sport in their own time to get out and give it a go.

As part of the Places People Play mass participation legacy programme, Sportivate will see 300,000 teenagers and young adults completing sports courses over four years.

Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:

“Lots of young people think sport isn’t for them. I would like them to have the chance to discover whether there is a sport they really enjoy, so this programme is all about choice.  Everyone who takes part will receive high quality coaching – giving them the confidence and skills which will make them want to keep playing in the future.” 

The announcement was welcomed by the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP, and Commonwealth Games medalist, Zoë Smith.

Hugh Robertson said:

“This £32 million Lottery programme launched by Sport England will give hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults across the country the opportunity to try out and get coached in the sport of their choice. I’m sure these same young people will also be inspired when the world’s greatest athletes compete here at next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and will then want to stay involved in sport for many years to come.”

Zoë Smith became the youngest ever weightlifting Commonwealth medalist when she won bronze at the 2010 Delhi Games at the age of 16. Zoë, who now has her sights set on competing at London 2012, said:

“Getting the chance to get out and try a new sport is fantastic. I didn’t take up my sport until I was 12, so it just shows if you’re up for some fun and trying something new, you can find a sport you really want to stick with.”

Sportivate will be delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships who will work with local providers and sports clubs to help 14- to 25-year-olds to continue taking part long after they have completed their course. Participants may also get chance to work with our Sporting Champions – a team of current and retired elite athletes – who will visit Sportivate sessions to share their experiences.

As an additional incentive, teenagers and young adults who stick with sport will have the chance to enter a ballot for free London 2012 tickets. Sport England has hundreds of Olympic and Paralympic tickets available for Sportivate participants via the London 2012 Ticketshare initiative.

In order to be eligible for London 2012 Ticketshare, participants will need to complete the sports course, missing no more than one session, and then continue to participate in sport for at least three months.

Sportivate is an inclusive programme that will create opportunities for disabled and non-disabled participants. Courses on offer include:

  • Eight-week beginners’ judo courses in Lincoln
  • Beginners’ wakeboarding courses in the Cotswolds
  • Eight-week introduction to golf for disabled teenagers and young adults in Bedfordshire
  • Mixed tennis sessions for 17- to 24-year-olds in Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Football sessions for women in Trowbridge, Wiltshire
  • Athletics courses in Tooting Bec, London
  • Parkour/free running introductory courses at Waveney in Suffolk.

Sport England will invest £8 million of National Lottery funding per year over the next four years into Sportivate.

For more information on Sportivate, including how to get involved, check out the following link:

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Rugby League secures Commonwealth Games recognition

Image courtesy of RFL website

The Commonwealth Games Federation has given its support to the possible inclusion of Rugby League in future Commonwealth Games. At a meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the Federation unanimously supported an application for Rugby League to become a Category Three sport, the first step towards a future presence at the Commonwealth Games.

This endorsement will allow Rugby League to work with the regional Commonwealth Games associations on development projects and enable the sport to continue to expand and develop across the globe.

Chair of Sport England and the Rugby Football League, Richard Lewis, welcomed the decision and said the recognition by the Commonwealth Games Federation has deep significance for Rugby League. “This is the first time we have had official recognition by a global multi-sports organisation and is a massive step forward for the sport,” said Lewis.

“Although it does pave the way for Rugby League to be played in future Commonwealth Games, that’s not what this application is about. In the short- to medium term, Commonwealth Games recognition will help us realise our ambitions to further establish Rugby League as a truly international sport.”

For more information check out the Rugby League website

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Be part of the 2012 legacy by improving and protecting your local playing fields

Hundreds of sports playing fields across the country will be protected and improved thanks to a £10 million National Lottery fund launched yesterday by Sport England and the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson MP.

Through Protecting Playing Fields, communities will be able to enhance local playing fields, or create new sports pitches. As part of the Places People Play mass participation legacy programme, the fund will help bring to life the inspiration and magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games for communities all over the country.

Sport England’s Chair, Richard Lewis, said: “Playing fields are the places where many young people have their first experience of sport, where sporting dreams come true and where communities come together.

“Protecting Playing Fields is about safeguarding and enhancing those spaces – and creating new, high-quality playing pitches where the next generation can enjoy sport. This is a great chance to bring the sporting legacy to life in your community.”

Hugh Robertson said: “As part of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games we want to offer people better facilities and more opportunities to play sport. This £10 million lottery investment will help achieve that. Not only will it further protect playing fields from developers but also create new ones and improve pitches up and down the country.”

Sport England will run five £2 million Protecting Playing Fields funding rounds over the next three years. Investing between £20,000 and £50,000 in hundreds of projects that will create, improve and protect playing fields by:

1.Bringing disused playing fields back into use
2.Improving the condition of pitches (e.g. levelling, drainage, reseeding)
3.Buying new playing field land (not less than 0.2 hectares)
4.Buying existing playing field land where there is a known threat, such as the expiry of a lease or a development proposal.

Sport England has also entered into a partnership with Fields in Trust (FIT) to support the protection of playing fields as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge. Successful applicants to Protecting Playing Fields who accept a Deed of Dedication of their playing field in “perpetuity” will have their project details passed to FIT. This will give them the opportunity to become a Queen Elizabeth II Field as part of the programme to mark the Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.

Protecting Playing Fields builds on the work Sport England already does to safeguard playing fields as a statutory consultee on all planning applications affecting a sports playing field. Playing fields are one of the most important resources for sport in England.

To read the full press release or for more information check out the Sport England website:

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