British Fencing (BF) 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.
BF will receive expertise, support and an investment of £2,714,002 of government and National Lottery funding from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitions 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.
BF’s highly successful Muslim Girls Fence project and our pilot project working with young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder are just two examples of where fencing projects delivered in collaboration with external partners can make a positive impact on people’s lives. BF recognises the role that fencing can play in people’s lives beyond purely giving them the opportunity to be active, and also see it serve as a tool for making positive social change in communities and individuals’ lives.
With the recent transfer of responsibilities from British Disability Fencing into British Fencing, this funding also provides an exciting opportunity to increase opportunities at all levels of our sport for people with disabilities, importantly not limited to those with disabilities who meet the categories to allow them to compete in para-fencing internationals.
Over £550million is being invested in total, with the partners including BF, 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.”
Georgina Usher, CEO of British Fencing said, “At British Fencing we believe that our fencing community also has an important part to play in supporting Uniting the Movement, in providing inclusive opportunities welcoming new people into our growing sport. This funding will allow BF to support this by providing resources, education and training to clubs and coaches which in turn will allow them to deliver the inclusive environments and play a full part in their local communities. There are already clubs and coaches around the country who have been breaking down barriers and we want to provide continued opportunities to share best practice across the sport.”
Mark Lyttle, Chair of British Fencing said, “This is wonderful news for fencing and demonstrates the progress our sport has made over the last five years. I would like to thank Sport England for their continued support.”
Over the coming months, BF will be sharing further information on how the funding will support aspects of our work, including our athlete development programme and participation initiatives.
About Sport England
Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.
It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active – like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.
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