The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, today announced that more than £12 million is to be invested into grassroots sports projects in the capital as part of his drive to get thousands more people fit and active. It means that the Mayor has now hit his target of channelling £30 million into sport by the 2012 Games over a year ahead of time.
With just over a year to go before the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Mayor revealed plans to award grants from his Sports Legacy Fund to 14 large scale sports participation projects and 26 community facilities. The Mayor visited a City Hall funded BMX project in Walthamstow to reiterate his commitment to deliver a lasting sporting legacy for every corner of London after the Games are over.
Today’s announcement is made up of £4m from the Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund and £8 million ‘match funding’. The Mayor's total spend on grass-roots sport is now over £10m and with a further £20m plus leveraged in as match funding, the Mayor has already met his target of channelling £30m to boost sport in London by the 2012 Games. The match funding has been drawn from a range of sources in the private, public and charitable sector.
Some of the projects to benefit include a plan for nine new wheelchair basketball clubs, virtual indoor rowing ‘race nights’ for thousands of children and weekly touch rugby sessions for workers right across London. Facilities are also being upgraded across the capital, creating capacity for an additional 20,000 users per week. Exciting projects include a new two-storey karate club in Kingston-upon-Thames, the reopening of a disused lido in Charlton, and a new floodlit hockey pitch in Hillingdon.
In addition, more than 140 organisations are set to benefit from ‘Freesport’ grants of up to £1,500 given to small clubs and community groups to provide around 10,000 Londoners with a minimum of six hours of free sports coaching. The Mayor has also been providing heavily subsidised training for Londoners wishing to train as a sports coach, official or volunteer. To date, more than 4,500 training places have been funded, with recipients of the training having pledged more than 50,000 hours of volunteering back into their local communities.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “From hockey in Hillingdon to karate in Kingston, we are storming ahead to revamp facilities and increase sports participation across the board. This investment, which sees some hugely important match funding being pledged, is fantastic news for Londoners of all ages and abilities from across the city. I am absolutely clear that to create a lasting legacy from the London Games, we must do all we can to get people out of their living rooms and into physical activity."
Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson, said: “The bid to bring the Olympics to London was built on the back of a promise that it would leave a lasting sporting legacy and inspire a generation to get involved in sport. This investment by the Mayor of London and others will offer hundreds of thousands of people of all abilities across the capital that opportunity.”
The Mayor’s Commissioner for Sport, Kate Hoey, said: “Like the BMX track we are visiting this morning, the projects we are announcing today all have the potential to make a real difference to the lives of ordinary people. For me, they are what hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games is all about. New facilities, fresh sporting opportunities and free sports coaching right across London – this really is legacy in action.
“I am hugely grateful for the Mayor’s ongoing commitment to this cause and I also want to pay tribute to all the fantastic people who volunteer their time and dedicate their lives to bringing the great joy of sport to their fellow Londoners.”
Notes to editors
A Sporting Future for London' sets out the Mayor's plans to increase physical activity and sporting participation across the capital as a long lasting legacy arising from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. More information about the Mayor's priorities for sport can be found at: www.london.gov.uk/priorities/sport
The Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority has chosen the Football Foundation to manage the PlaySport London: Facility Fund. The Foundation has, over a decade of expertise in this field, successfully delivered 8,000 community sports project and programmes worth nearly £1bn. The Football Foundation will also be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the impact of the PlaySport London: Facility Fund on grassroots sport participation across London.
The Mayor’s Skills Investment Programme will train people who wish to become coaches, activity leaders, get involved in the sports industry and volunteer for community sports clubs. PlaySport London: Skills Programme is part of the Mayor’s commitment to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme is an integral part of ‘A Sporting Future for London’. The Skills programme is being delivered by the National Skills Academy for Sport and Leisure.
The National Skills Academy is an employer-led organisation that provides quality training and key resources for businesses, professionals and newcomers to the sector to boost business performance. By addressing employer needs and filling the workforce's skills gaps, it ensures a stable and innovative future for the industry.