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Sport England to make sustainability initiatives a requirement to receive funding

October 12 2023 - News Release News Editorial

Sport England, the body that invests more than £300m of public money into sport in the country annually, is set to tell its sports to do more to fight the climate crisis in order to continue receiving funding.

Sport England to make sustainability initiatives a requirement to receive funding

The body’s Chair Chris Boardman revealed to the Guardian that Sport England is set to introduce the radical condition to help sports in better protecting the environment. 

“Without veering into hyperbole, it’s so that we don’t all die,” Boardman told the Guardian. “It’s just a massive topic for everybody. It’s the biggest topic that we will face.”

Sport England provides between millions of pounds to sporting organisations including British Cycling, England Netball, the Rugby Football Union, the England and Wales Cricket Board, Swim England and England Athletics. It also donates smaller sums of money to fund grassroots sport. 

“It’s just a massive topic for everybody. It’s the biggest topic that we will face.” Sport England Chair Chris Boardman

“Sport England is an organisation that has huge influence,” added Boardman. “We deal with hundreds of partners, who deal with millions of people. So we have a responsibility to do something, and we are going to. I feel both good about it and quite scared at the same time, because it is so big.

“Fundamentally we have got to move from a position of ‘inform and encourage’ to one of ‘enable and require’. That’s essentially what it is: to shift from talking about it, and using language that gives people a way out, to say: ‘No, we have to do this.’”

The report added that meetings with sports will begin next month, with the ambition that in the future,  Sport England’s code of conduct will include a requirement for governing bodies to outline sustainability plans.

Image: B Mat an gelo on Unsplash

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