£1 million to diversify the sport and physical activity workforce

National Lottery funding will be used to help create skilled and relatable coaches and volunteers

03 February 2020 Funding News Coaching Volunteering

Sixteen projects aimed at engaging women and/or black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) communities in coaching or volunteering will receive a share of £1 million.

We're awarding the National Lottery funding to projects who applied to our Workforce Diversity Great Ideas Fund, last summer.

Launched during Coaching Week 2019, the fund aims to address the barriers faced by women and those from BAME communities when trying to get started in coaching and volunteering.

The recipients include everyone from local sports clubs and schools to national governing bodies, each with a brand new project to work on.

We know that a workforce which represents women and people from a black, Asian or other ethnic minority background will be most effective at engaging them

Cathy Hughes, our head of equality and diversity

And with the sport and physical activity workforce growing and more than 400,000 people now employed in the sector, our strategic lead for workforce transformation, Stuart Armstrong, is focused on investing in the people that make a difference.

“Sport and physical activity is a people business,” he said.

“From lifeguards to reception staff, as well as coaches and session leaders. This whole workforce shapes the customer’s experience of taking part.

“Their passion, commitment and knowledge of sports and activity are great assets but can mean the ‘product’ is tailored for the most active and most skilled. 

“If we are to tackle inactivity and work more with those who are regularly dropping in and out of sport, we need a flexible workforce who can help people manage a range of emotional and practical barriers to activity within their daily lives.” 

Projects receiving this funding include Brighton Table Tennis Club, who'll develop a training scheme that supports community clubs to have a more diverse membership and workforce. While Vandyke Upper School, in Bedfordshire, will work with their local Active Partnership to engage 40 mums as volunteers at the school gates.

The 16 projects

St Matthew Big Local

  • Award - £36,639
  • This project aims to upskill 20 volunteers from within a local community to deliver sport and physical activity sessions at a local facility to its residents. Around 75% of these volunteers will be from BAME backgrounds and 50% will be female. The project will also see the recruitment of two full time employees.

The Urban Fitness Collective

  • Award - £53,860
  • Project - This project aims to develop 40 Muslim girls from secondary schools within Manchester as young leaders. Some will also progress as sessional coaches working for this organisation.

UK Deaf Sport

  • Award - £53,000
  • This project aims to develop and deploy 100 volunteers to support more people with disabilities to take part in and enjoy sport and physical activity. These volunteers will be a mix of disabled and non-disabled people, new and existing coaches.

Yorkshire Sport Foundation

  • Award - £48,000
  • This project will recruit, develop and deploy 45 BAME resident volunteers from three local communities across Sheffield and Leeds. Many will also be given the opportunity for further opportunities and employment.

Brighton Table Tennis Club

  • Award - £40,000
  • This project will develop a piece of training that will support community clubs to become more diverse and inclusive in their workforce and participants.

YHA - England and Wales

  • Award - £119,953
  • This projects aims to recruit, develop and employ 12 young people through an Outdoor Activity Apprenticeship. At least 50% of the cohort will be BAME, 50% female and 75% from low socio-economic groups.

ARCA Generation

  • Award - £40,000
  • This project aims to develop 100 young people, of which 90% will be from low socio-economic groups and 25% female, as volunteer coaches delivering sport and physical activity to other young people. Thirty of these coaches will go onto become employed as sessional coaches within the organisation.

Manningham Mills Sports and Community Association

  • Award - £32,000
  • The applicant aims to create 16 coaching opportunities, 70 volunteering opportunities, four sport-specific coach mentor roles and, ultimately, reach over 3,500 beneficiaries.

British Canoeing

  • Award - £28,000
  • This project will recruit 100 female and/or BAME people as Club Champions to inspire future female paddlers and leaders in the sport.

Sporting Communities CIC

  • Award - £120,000
  • The project aims to develop 30 BAME coaches from low socio-economic groups aged 16 + from Stoke-on-Trent and Derby. The coaches will receive training, mentoring and voluntary experience which could lead to paid employment.

Vandyke Upper School

  • Award - £8,500
  • This project will engage 40 mums as volunteers at the school gates, in partnership with their local Active Partnership - Team Beds&Luton

The Outward Bound Trust

  • Award - £39,856
  • The project will deliver a series of interventions which will create a training pathway to develop 12 canoe and mountain leaders, aged 16-25, from BAME communities.

Sportshall Associates

  • Award - £8,000
  • This project will engage and train 200 females in female-specific athletics coaching and officiating workshops, upskilling a more relatable cohort of women and providing clear role models for young girls in athletics.

Her Spirit Ltd

  • Award - £118,870
  • The project will develop a Her Spirit app and utilise Her Spirit hubs to target BAME women to get more physically active in triathlon sports by creating the right culture and environment.

Active Communities Network

  • Award - £161,910
  • This project will upskill 60 local leaders in BAME communities to deliver sport and physical activity - engaging 750 BAME participants.

The Access to Sports Project

  • Award - £50,000
  • This three-year project will engage 180 new BAME volunteers from four deprived estates in Islington. Led by a project coordinator, the applicant will develop and deliver a programme of training and advice.

And for our head of equality and diversity, Cathy Hughes, it's vital for the sport and physical activity workforce to be representative of those taking part, or wanting to take part.

“We know that a workforce which represents women and people from a black, Asian or other ethnic minority background will be most effective at engaging them,” she said.

“When the workforce is diverse, it can lead to better decision making and greater ability to reach out to people who are currently choosing not to engage with the traditional sport sector.

“We will continue its support for recruiting more people from a diversity of background and experience by working with partners and individuals who will benefit from this fund.”