Sport England launches ‘Club Matters’

Sport England Club Matters

Last month, Sport England launched ‘Club Matters‘, described as a ‘One Stop Shop of support for sports clubs’. The Club Matters resource is designed to pull together Sport England’s existing support for clubs, combining Clubmark, Club Leaders and Help for Clubs to create a single, free support package for sports clubs.

The resource will be comprised of online support, workshops, mentoring, club improvement plans, club views and Clubmark. All of these methods of support will provide clubs with learning and guidance on all aspects of the running of a club, whether it be ‘large, small, formal or informal’.

The tools and resources available will help sports clubs to understand management, members and volunteers, skill development, and the creation of more sustainable clubs.

Youth participation in sport shown in new Sportivate report

Child playing tennisSport England last month released a new report on their Sportivate programme (PDF), highlighting youth participation in sport in the UK.

Sportivate is a London 2012 legacy project that aims to give young people opportunities to try new sports, with an overall objective of sustained participation. The programme was initially given £56 million of Lottery funds, but following early success gained an extra £10 million funding, meaning that it will run until March 2017.

The report shows that 45.3% of the annual target of retained participants has been achieved within the first six months, whilst the overall four-year target has been exceed by 22%.

In total, 416,500 people have completed a Sportivate project, with 57.1% of retained participants being male and 42.9% female. This gender divide is also shown in the figures for initial engagement in a project, and highlights the need for campaigns such as This Girl Can, which encourage more women to overcome the barriers to participation in sport.

England set to host 2019 Netball World Cup

Netball playersThe International Netball Federation announced last month that the Netball World Cup will be returning to England for the third time in its 56 year history.

Liverpool will play host to the Cup, following England’s success in the city during the 2011 World Netball Series.

The announcement follows the news that over 25,000 more people play netball at least once a week compared to the previous year.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO of England Netball Joanna Adams said: “With more and more women playing the sport, this will provide a welcome incentive to build upon our momentum and increase the visibility of netball in our country.”

Netball is one of only three sports that receives Sport England funding from grassroots to elite level.

To ensure that your club or school is giving its up and coming netballers the best shot at success in 2019, invest in your club equipment now. You can find our range of netball equipment on our website with netball posts suitable for garden, training and competition use available.

Report finds school PE average dips below two hours per week

New figures from the Youth Sport Trust show that since coming to power, the government has overseen a significant fall in the amount of PE in schools.

Kids playing football on a synthetic pitchThe Youth Sport Trust’s National PE, School Sport and Physical Activity Survey Report (PDF) found that the average number of minutes of PE offered to children in England had dropped below two hours a week – a statistic which is at odds with the promises made to use the London 2012 Olympics to ‘Inspire a Generation’ of youths to become more active.

The survey also suggests that there has been a major drop in the number of links between schools and community sports clubs since 2010.

Figures show that in the last school year, five-to-seven year olds spent an average of only 102 minutes per week participating in PE. For children aged seven-to-eleven, the average was only 114 minutes.

Baroness Campbell, chairman of the YST, has described the current levels of physical inactivity among children in England as ‘a bleak and worrying picture’.

The survey will help to inform its own manifesto for PE and school sport, in a bid to convince the winner of May’s General Election to develop a ‘joined-up, cross-departmental approach to physical activity’.

Sporta & Football League Trust launch new pilot programme

A new pilot partnership between Sporta and the Football League Trust has been launched in a bid to increase the number of people participating in sport in Doncaster.

The new programme, entitled ‘Doncaster Moving Together’ is working to increase the number of local people playing sport by 300, whilst improving the health of those aged between 35 and 55 in the town. Funded by Sport England National Lottery money, the pilot could pave the way for the programme being used nationally.

Badminton Rackets

The project will offer badminton, cricket and football sessions across 4 of the town’s sporting venues. To begin with the sessions will be informal and non-competitive, and will gradually filter into the creation of mini leagues and cross site competitions. Participants will be recruited through social media platforms, Doncaster Rovers FC fan base and match day awareness sessions, including player visits and physical activity incentives.

The project is part of Sporta’s three-year long ‘Make Your Move’ programme, which has seen over 30 charitable leisure trusts benefit from Sport England’s National Lottery funding.

Craig Aubrey, DCLT’s Community Sports Officer, commented: “DCLT are excited to work with Sporta, The Football League Trust and Club Doncaster on this new project. We believe this project will help kick start the health of many in Doncaster, using all four partners to ensure the quality and sustainability of the initiative. As a charitable trust with Doncaster’s health at heart, we believe this complements many of the other programmes we deliver, and we look forward to its success.”

Further information on the programme can be found on the Make Your Move website.

‘This Girl Can’ campaign encourages more women to get active

The launch of Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ TV ad campaign last month was watched by 7.5m people, and the accompanying social media campaign has also received a strong reception.

The campaign, which aims to get more women and girls active, regardless of age, shape, or ability, is the first to portray the real story of women who exercise, using images that are the opposite of the stylised ones we’ve become so used to seeing in adverts.

Two million fewer 14-40 year old women participate in sport than men in the same age range. However, despite this statistic, 75% say that they would like to be more active.

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Schools called to promote ‘low-level’ activity

Primary school kids playing football

A leading sports medicine consultant has recently called on schools to ‘redefine’ physical activity, with a higher focus on low-level activity rather than strenuous exercise.

Dr Mike Loosemore has noted that the current curriculum places too much emphasis on ‘heavy exercise’, whereas getting children to simply stand up and move around more could have a far more positive impact upon their health.

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Sport England launches campaign to get more women active

Fitness class‘This Girl Can’, a new national campaign by Sport England has been launched to encourage more women and girls to be regularly active.

Launched at the Transforming Sport conference in October, ‘This Girl Can’ seeks to use humour and attitude to help tackle the fear of judgement that has been noted as a factor in preventing women from taking part in sport.

The campaign will be heavily advertised from January onwards, with a TV, cinema, digital and social media campaign.

Sport England are looking for any women or girls who participate in sport, or anyone involved in running a sports club for women or girls to participate in the campaign and help prove that women can. A toolkit containing information and guidelines will be available shortly – to register interest, just fill in this form.

To find out more about the campaign, visit

What sporting events should you look out for in 2015?

As 2014 comes to a close, now’s the time for sports clubs to think about what big sporting events 2015 has to offer, and what your club could do to use these events to encourage participation.

RBS 6 Nations

February 6th to March 21st 2015

The 6 Nations will kick off a rugby union filled year in February, with England and Wales will going head to head at the Millennium Stadium on 6th February, Ireland facing Italy and Scotland taking on France.

All eyes will be on the home nations to see how they fare in preparation for the year’s main rugby event – the Rugby World Cup.


29th June to 12th July 2015

Wimbledon preparations

Following Andy Murray’s dramatic quarter final loss to Grigor Dimitrov, this year’s Wimbledon will be an opportunity to regain his crown from reigning champion Novak Djokovic.

The lead up to Wimbledon always sees numbers of people participating in tennis rocket – whether it be through a club or just booking a court, so it’s worth ensuring that nets and posts are in perfect working condition a couple of months in advance.

The Ashes

8th July to 24th August 2015

The bid to regain The Ashes from Australia will take place on English soil this year, following 2013/14’s 5-0 defeat. supply and install cricket surfaces, cages, nets and sight screens – with a variety of options available for clubs and schools alike.

IPC Athletics World Championships

22nd to 31st October 2015

Whilst the International Paralympic Committee’s World Championships will be held in Qatar in October, the marathon events will take place on 26th April at the London Marathon.

The next IPC World Championship is set to take place at London’s Olympic Stadium in 2017, so this event will give a taste of what’s to come for British Paralympic athletics.

Rugby World Cup

18th September to 31st October 2015

The 2015 Rugby World Cup returns to the home of rugby, where 20 nations will compete for the Webb Ellis Cup over 6 weeks. England will face tough competition from their group, with fixtures scheduled against Wales and Australia.

FA’s Women’s and Girl’s Programme exceeds target in 2014

Girl kicking a footballIt has been revealed that the FA’s Women’s and Girl’s Programme exceeded its project target and helped nearly 21,000 14-25 years olds get into football in 2014.

Launched in October 2013, the FA worked with Sport England, the Premier League and the Football League Trust to provide grassroots football sessions for women and girls.

Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “We know women play less sport than men but most would like to do more. In fact, almost 120,000 women tell us that they want to play football. But the opportunities have to be right for those women to turn ambition into a reality.”

The programme is just one part of the FA’s strategy on growing participation figures for women’s football, in support of its vision to be the 2nd largest team sport after men’s football by 2018.

Kelly Simmons, FA director of national game and women’s football commented on the scheme: “One of our biggest challenges, apart from attracting new players, is retention, so programmes like this which run for long periods of time, will certainly help us tackle that and help women’s football to become the second most-played sport in the country.”