by BaseballSoftballUK, www.baseballsoftballuk.com
Sport England has announced a £493 million investment in 46 sports over the next four years, including a £3 million award to baseball and softball, designed to aid grassroots development and produce a further increase in participation.
While some high profile sports have had their funding cut and others have only been offered initial one-year funding pending results, the award to BaseballSoftballUK represents an increase on our Whole Sport Plan funding for 2009-13.
According to BSUK’s Sport England Relationship Manager Chris Colby, the award demonstrated confidence in BSUK’s ability to deliver against targets and was recognition for excellent work done over the past four years.
Included in the £3 million award to BSUK is £200,000 for further facility development and – for the first time – £100,000 to be applied to talent development.
BSUK Chair John Walmsley said: “While it may not be everything we had wished for, Sport England’s continued investment in baseball and softball is a tremendous achievement and recognition of the role we play in the nation’s sporting landscape. I give my heartfelt thanks to all those on the staff, the Board and beyond who have worked so hard to achieve a successful outcome to the Whole Sport Plan process.”
Payment by results
Forty-six sports anxiously awaited the call on Monday, 17 December that told them what their individual awards would be before Sport England publicly announced the news later that day.
Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price said: “This investment represents Years 5 to 8 of our long-term plan to get more people playing sport. We’ve learned a lot over the last four years and with a record 15.5 million people already playing sport once a week, we are on track to deliver. We have worked very hard, with the governing bodies of sport, to make these decisions, and I believe they are right.”
While the overall investment for 2013-17 represents an increase of £54 million over the previous four-year period, Sport England has made it clear that funding will be increasingly contingent on results. As well as funding cuts and one-year offers to sports that will need to improve their performance to trigger further investment, Sport England will review all sports against targets every 12 months, and can either cut or increase funding based on outcomes.
Sports that meet or exceed targets will be able to apply for a share of a £40 million pot that Sport England has reserved as a reward for high achievement.
BSUK Joint CEO and Head of Operations Jenny Fromer said: “We are pleased with the endorsement of our work that this continued investment represents. We are particularly happy that we have been offered funds to further our facility development work, and that for the first time we have successfully made the case for talent development money.”
Over the next month, BSUK’s CEOs will work with Sport England to agree targets for participation, talent development and member satisfaction, after which the award will be formalised.