As Commonwealth Games end, focus switches to community impact
The work to ensure the development of grassroots activity opportunities continues apace.
As the dust settles on Team England's most successful home Commonwealth Games ever and the 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories begin to leave the West Midlands, our investment and involvement in the region continues - helping people to play sport and get active off the back of the Games.
We’ve invested £35 million of combined National Lottery and government funding into ensuring the effect of the Games is felt long after the banners and bunting has come down.
These Games made history as the first major multi-sport event to ever award more medals to women than men, and the Commonwealth Games continue to lead the way in presenting an integrated sports programme of both para sport and non-para sport.
It’s this intention to tackle inequalities and offer sporting opportunities for all that our investment is seeking to continue at a grassroots levels both in the West Midlands community and nationally – much like our wider Uniting the Movement strategy.
And for our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth, the coming months and years will continue to illustrate the importance of our investments and legacy planning.
"It’s the end of the 2022 Commonwealth Games – but the beginning of new opportunities to play sport and get active," said Tim.
"The Games have given us a wonderful platform to create lasting impact at community level across the country by bringing us together through sport, community and friendship.
"Uniting the Movement takes a long-term approach to many of the challenges with activity levels – including tackling the deep-rooted inequalities that prevent some people from taking part.
"That’s why our £35million investment into the Games targeted support to where it’s most needed to create inclusive opportunities for people to get active in their communities – now and in the future.
"I’m proud of what we have achieved already, but there is so much more to be done."
Our investment has gone into local legacy, talent, venues and facilities, children and young people and national governing bodies (NGBs) – all with the goal of providing easier access to physical activity opportunities for those that need it most.
"The Games have given us a wonderful platform to create lasting impact at community level across the country by bringing us together through sport, community and friendship."
Chief executive, Sport England
For example, our Places and Spaces fund awarded £10,000 to Impact Fitness Academy that enabled them to buy more equipment and make renovations to their gym to make it a safe and inclusive place for all members of their community.
While our Digital and Innovation fund for NGBs awarded a grant to a partnership of Birmingham City Council and Basketball England to create or enhance up to 20 great basketball places in the city, which will be enjoyed for generations to come.
And it’s these investments that our chair, Chris Boardman, is as excited about as he was for the action on the field of play during the Games.
"A huge part of Sport England’s Commonwealth Games investment has been focused on local community groups – because they know what’s right for them and the people that they serve," said the Barcelona 1992 Olympic gold medallist.
"They know how to truly meet people where they’re at – and support them to take the first steps towards a more active life.
"That is what the real Commonwealth Games legacy is: empowering brilliant grassroots organisations to offer a space for everyone to play sport, be active and healthy – and transforming lives as they do it."
Sport England would like to thank all the volunteers that helped make Birmingham 2022 such a success.
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