SkillsActive praises commitment to local grassroots sport

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SkillsActive, the sector skills council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being has come out in support of the increased Sport England funding dedicated to developing grassroots sport in the UK.

The announcement made was for a £5 million increase in the Protecting Playing Fields Olympic and Paralympic legacy fund.

Some 75 projects across the country will share a total of £3.5 million, which will be used to safeguard and improve more local sports fields across the country. Dozens more projects will benefit from the next round of funding, which opens on 10 June.

SkillsActive went on to say that a focus should also be on ensuring staff in this environment are sufficiently skilled, as this will help support the increased participation in sport that this funding hopes to bring.

Ian Taylor, CEO of SkillsActive, said: “This funding is great news because we need to give the country all the resources it needs to get more people healthier, fitter and engaged with physical activity.

“But of particular importance are the people who will be responsible for making sport more accessible, enjoyable and rewarding. The skills that coaches, trainers and other staff possess always needed to be high. But their expertise will now be tested even further as more people are starting to enter sport and physical activity through more varied means. The industry now has to adapt and evolve to cater for a new clientele and that means better training.

“As we approach the anniversary of the Olympics, many will be assessing the progress we have made in terms of encouraging more people to get into sport. What many national governing bodies have done to introduce new players into sport has been commendable and taster sessions and quick games are more much more common now. The need for both top level sports facilities and qualified professionals is higher than ever if we are to maintain and even further grow sports participation.”