The Government is making major reforms to Sport England as part of its strategy to capitalise on the London 2012 Olympic Games and pull Britons out of their increasingly sedentary lifestyles.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham revealed that Sport England would be subject to a radical reorganisation, making it “leaner and fitter” in a speech made to sports’ national governing bodies on Tuesday.
The body will now centralise its funding and will commission the sport governing bodies to deliver its strategies rather than Sport England having multiple funding streams and involvement with regional sporting initiatives.
The change puts the onus on the governing bodies to meet targets set by Sport England, funded by one-off four-year grants. While the bodies will have more autonomy over the investment of funds, they will be more accountable for delivering required results.
Sport England is committed to deliver a series of targets by 2012/13, which include; 1 million people doing more sport and a 25% reduction in 16 year-olds dropping out of sport.
The responsibilities of the organisation are to be more clearly defined, confining it purely to sport, as opposed to involvement in any kind of physical activity, which falls under the remit of either the Department of Health or Transport.
The new strategy means the UK’s sports landscape will consist of three key bodies, with separate roles – The Youth Sport Trust has responsibility for school sport, Sport England from beyond school and into community sport. And at the elite end of the spectrum, responsibility sits with UK Sport.