Cycling to receive more than £17m in grassroots funding

Sport England will invest £88m in grassroots sport and a further £3m to help sports bid for major events over the next four years.

Of the 26 governing bodies to benefit, cycling is set for the biggest award of more than £17m.

Badminton, which last week lost its UK Sport funding, will receive £7.25m.

Happy cyclistsSport England said the announcement shows its “ongoing commitment to supporting those who have a close affinity with sport”.

The investments and new funding opportunities are designed to build on the 15 million people who regularly play sport in the country, which Sport England calls its “core market”.

It follows UK Sport’s funding announcement last week, which was aimed at elite athletes building towards the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo.

Hockey (£9m), gymnastics (£8.3m) and cricket (£7.6m) will be among the top beneficiaries when the Sport England funding comes into force from April 2017.

“There are millions of people with a regular sporting habit, who are often the most committed and resilient,” said Sport England director of sport Phil Smith.

“But our research tells us we can never take them for granted and that life gets in the way of exercise sometimes.

“We are also backing the talent programmes in these sports to find and develop the best performers.”
British Cycling wants to invest more in traffic-free festivals and a campaign to encourage families to ride together, while England Hockey is interested in quicker, small-sided versions of the game.

Meanwhile, British Gymnastics will invest in the surge in demand for high-quality coaching and the England Wales Cricket Board will focus on 20-over formats, the women’s game and getting more people with south Asian heritage into club cricket.

Sport England has also launched two open funding programmes to help governing bodies bid to host major events – £1m for prospective bids and £2m to engage a “broader range of people” through the events.