To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with Sport England on the effectiveness of their Tackling Inequalities Fund; and what steps he is taking to support Sport England to ensure that inequalities are tackled in sport and physical activity.
The Government is committed to tackling inequalities in sport and physical activity. Our strategy ‘Sporting Future’ sets out a clear ambition to increase levels of physical activity amongst under-represented groups. We are working closely with Sport England, DCMS’s arm’s length body for grassroots sport in England, to ensure that inequalities are being tackled effectively.
The £20 million Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) is an important part of the £270 million support package that Sport England has committed to directly reduce the negative impact COVID 19 and the widening of inequalities in sport and physical activity.
The fund is a focused approach to increasing physical activity for four under-represented groups: lower socio-economic groups, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, disabled people, and people with long-term health conditions. Currently, £13.5 million has been awarded, and £9.7m of this has already reached community organisations and groups directly through 42 Active Partnerships and 30 national partners across the country. As a result there are over 2,800 projects actively being delivered by trusted partners closer to the communities that have previously been unserved by more traditional delivery structures.
Tackling inequalities is also at the heart of Sport England’s recently launched new ten year strategy, ‘Uniting the Movement’, reinforcing their commitment to diversifying participation. DCMS will continue to work closely with Sport England to ensure that inequalities are addressed and tackled in sport and physical activity.