Funding boost for legacy programme that’s inspired thousands of young people county-wide to play sport

Thousands more young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are to benefit from the sporting legacy after Sport England announced an extra £24 million to expand and extend its successful Sportivate programme.

The National Lottery funding means Sportivate can continue helping 14- to 25-year-olds to get involved in sports from judo and tennis to wakeboarding and parkour until 2017.

The initiative is run in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by LIVING SPORT. New figures shows that 2,583 teenagers and young adults in the county have already benefitted from free or discounted six-to-eight week sports coaching courses through Sportivate. Of these, 1,983 have successfully completed their course, missing no more than one session.

The announcement was made by Sport England’s Chief Executive, as it celebrated the success of the first two years of the programme.

She said: “Sportivate’s success is built on listening to what young people want from sport and then giving them great opportunities to get involved. With dozens of traditional and non-traditional sports on offer, lots of young people are getting active and discovering a sport they really enjoy and want to keep playing.”

Ross Hayward, Sport Projects Coordinator at LIVING SPORT and Sportivate lead officer said, “Sportivate has developed well across the county over the past 2 years with many organisations, such as sports clubs, taking the opportunity to provide successful new provision with Sportivate support. The additional funding announcement will help the programme reach more 14 to 25 year olds and support a larger number of organisations.”

The announcement was welcomed by Olympic Gold-medal winning cyclist Joanna Rowsell, and the Rt Hon Maria Miller, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.

Joanna Rowsell said: “It’s fantastic that Sportivate is helping so many young people to discover a new sport. I only started cycling when I was 15 and it changed my life. Sport can be amazing if you find the one that’s right for you. Whether you want to get serious about it or concentrate on the fun of taking part, Sportivate can help you to get involved.”

Sportivate aims to give young people who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time the chance to find a sport they like. The young people are then helped to find a club or venue where they can keep taking part. Research shows that most of the young people are sticking with sport three months after they’ve completed the Sportivate course.

Maria Miller said: “The number of people playing sport is on the rise, which is really good news. We are determined to leave a lasting legacy from London’s Games, and Sportivate is playing a key part in that. It’s really important we keep the momentum going and help even more young people develop a sporting habit for life.”

Sportivate is being delivered by the network of 49 county sports partnerships, working with local clubs and providers.