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Investment to grow Sport for Development Coalition

The group of charities, national governing bodies and networks use sport to enact positive social change.

22nd May 2020

We’re investing in a group of charities and national governing bodies who use the power of sport to bring about positive social change.

Our National Lottery investment in the Sport for Development Coalition (SFDC) comes alongside further financial backing from Comic Relief and Laureus Sport for Good.

The SFDC is a ‘movement’ of charities, national governing bodies and networks who use sport as a tool in tackling issues such as youth violence, poor mental health and a lack of community cohesion.

A Street Games volunteer instructs a boy how to use a treadmill

This funding will allow the SFDC to collect evidence of sport resulting in positive social change, enabling them, and their partners, to show the value of investing in physical activity at a national level – particularly in other areas such as health, criminal justice and education.

And our chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, believes the work of the SFDC can assist us in helping the sport and exercise sector to recover from the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19).

“It's had a profound impact on people's relationship with sport and activity, and on the sport sector as a whole,” he said.

“People and organisations are doing their best to adapt and it's never been more evident just how much benefit being active can bring to people's physical and mental health.

“We’ll continue to make the case for investing in sport and physical activity at a national level to help solve local solutions – and that's why we're pleased to be supporting the SFDC, alongside our partners Comic Relief and Laureus.

“This investment will allow the SFDC to grow its reach to a wider network of partners, creating a collective voice, new collaborations, and insight-driven development work – and ultimately helping us all to improve the lives of those who most need our support.”


The SFDC hope to have a minimum of 400 signatories of their charter within four years.

The goal of the SFDC – which is currently hosted by the Sport and Recreation Alliance as it develops its governance and structure, with the goal of being independent by June 2022 – is to unlock significant additional investment and resources for community sports organisations.

More than 70 have already signed the SFDC’s Charter – including StreetGames, Sported, Women in Sport and the Activity Alliance - with the ambition being to grow that figure to more than 400 within four years.

And with the addition of an executive director – a position that will be advertised for shortly and is hoped to be filled in the next three months – their chair, Andy Reed, is excited by the movement’s potential.

“We are extremely grateful to our funding partners for this new investment,” he said.

“The SFDC’s aim now will be to significantly grow the network and the momentum of this movement, and demonstrate on a national scale how the power of sport can improve people’s lives and build stronger communities.”

On Monday, 1 June, Tim will join a live Twitter takeover with the SFDC. To participate, simply follow the hashtag #SportForDevelopmentCoalition from 8-9pm.

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