Sport England

About us

Sport England is an arm’s length body of government established by Royal Charter in 1996. It uses expertise, insight, campaigns and targeted funding from the government and the National Lottery to grow and develop grassroots sport and help more people get active across England.

Uniting the Movement is Sport England’s 10-year strategy (2021-2031) to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.

Its vision is for there to be a nation of more equal, inclusive, and connected communities. A country where people live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives.

Its mission is to invest in sport and physical activity to make it a normal part of life for everyone in England, regardless of who they are.

In 2018-19, Sport England invested £260 million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding into projects and programmes that supported people to be physically active, with 1,575 individual awards ranging from £300 to £18 million.


Our funded bodies

As the body responsible for grassroots sport in England, Sport England distributes funding for the sector and supports National Governing Bodies, local authorities, and active partnerships alongside many other organisations who contribute towards getting more people active.

Sport England invests in organisations who can help prevent and tackle inequalities in sport and physical activity through five big issues identified in their Uniting the Movement Strategy:

  1. Recover and reinvent
  2. Connecting communities
  3. Positive experiences for children and young people
  4. Connecting with health and wellbeing
  5. Active environments


Why we support good governance

Sport England’s strategy, Uniting the Movement, identifies that it is only possible for a focus to be on the five big issues, if there is change and improvement in what is delivered across the sector. There are five catalysts for change:

  1. Effective investment models
  2. Realising the power of people and leadership
  3. Applying innovation and digital
  4. High-quality data, insight, and learning
  5. Good Governance

Sport England believes that to realise the ambitions in ‘Uniting the Movement’, we need a sector which embraces good governance in a way that goes beyond compliance and ensures a safe, well-run and enjoyable environment for everyone involved. Good governance needs to mean more than just having a fit for purpose structure and system in place – it must also ensure that individuals leading an organisation use it wisely and effectively.

Good governance extends beyond the structures of sport. It should also drive and ensure the creation of a safe, well-run and enjoyable environment for sport and physical activity at every level, where the welfare of everyone involved is the paramount concern.


Why we are investing in the SGA

Sport England first began working with the Chartered Governance Institute to deliver the Sports Governance Academy in 2019. Over the last three years it has become clear that the sector values the support and guidance which the Sports Governance Academy provides, and a further long-term investment from Sport England was needed to cement the role which the Sports Governance Academy has in the sector and ensure it continues to provide the necessary support and guidance required by the sector.

The Sports Governance Academy is a centralised hub for governance support resources for the sector which makes it easier for organisations to know where to go for governance support. It provides opportunities for learning/continuous development, for acquiring knowledge/access to resources and for networking/sharing of experiences. It also represents a safe place for organisations in the sector to go for advice and support, outside of the Sport Councils and with the advantage of offering independent and objective advice.

The complement of the three service offers (knowledge, learning, community) will help to drive improvement in governance across the sector, and in turn help Sport England to deliver against its strategy.


Sport England says:

“Working in governance in a sports organisation can be a lonely place.  The Sports Governance Academy provides a safe place for anyone working in governance in the sector to go for support, advice, knowledge and to feel part of a community with others. 

The first three years of its existence have been fantastic and I’m excited to be continuing our work with the Chartered Governance Institute to ensure the Sports Governance Academy further evolves into the governance support hub for the sector.”

Joy Johnston, Head of Governance (Support)