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12 Jun 2020

Black Lives Matter: Sport England wants to fund 'innovative solutions' to tackle inequalities
BY Tom Walker

Sport England is looking to find and support individuals and organisations with programmes and ideas which help break down barriers to exercise

Sport England is looking to find and support individuals and organisations with programmes and ideas which help break down barriers to exercise
photo: Shutterstock/Naufal MQ

Sport England has begun a search for "innovative solutions" which could reduce inequalities in society – and help those most affected to get physically active.

The grassroots body is looking for individuals and organisations with programmes and ideas which can help break down barriers to exercise.

A particular focus will also be on solutions which help those affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We’re looking for solutions from individuals and organisations specifically developed to support women, people on low incomes, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME), disabled people or people living with long-term health conditions," Sport England told HCM and Sports Management.

Successful applicants will be supported with a combination of funding, advice, training, insight and access to connections across the industry.

The solutions should also address at least one of three common barriers to physical activity – mental health issues, digital exclusion and changes in circumstances caused by COVID-19.

Sport England said that due to the "speed with which it wants to act", it is looking for products or solutions that are already worked up and ready to deliver a positive impact within the next six months.

“We believe that now is the time to act, innovate and do things differently to affect positive change,” said Sport England chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth.

“We know from our long-standing research that there are major inequalities within society, with too many of us not able to access activity in the same way and missing out on the health benefits.

“These inequalities aren’t new, but they are being exacerbated by the pandemic and brought to life by the Black Lives Matter campaign, which is why we want to act now to ensure they don’t get worse.  

“We believe that innovation can play a fundamental role in helping people overcome these challenges so they can lead more active lives, and in turn, help tackle the inequalities that exist within society. 

“What is important to reinforce is that innovation doesn't have to be complicated.

“Small ideas that are local, simple and start with people at the heart can be the most effective."

• To find out more about the initiative – and to submit a solution, click here for Sport England's dedicated website.



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