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Jul 28, 21

Growing Grass Root Sports from all angles

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Grassroot sports are played at a novice community level, mainly for intrinsic enjoyment, social benefits, and skill development. It is being played across all age groups, and you may participate in these sports without even realising it. If you attend a local swimming pool or play walking football with the older crowd, you’re getting involved in grassroots sport.

Some local activities are essential for developing young athletes and kickstarting athletic careers. Grassroot sports engage children and improve their skills so that they may be chosen to play at a higher and more competitive level, sometimes resulting in university scholarships or professional sporting careers in later life. They feed into higher-level sport and are prerequisites to becoming a professional athlete. 

Investing in grassroots sports

Unfortunately, amateur sport doesn’t receive lots of funding from governments and councils. Many people involved with running these local competitions and events are volunteers, giving back to the community out of their own love for the sport.

But these teams and clubs still require investment and donations. Many fantastic companies recognise the importance of grassroots sport and its long-lasting and far-reaching benefits. For example Entain, the owner of gaming platform PartyCasino, is collaborating with SportsAid to help finance young promising British athletes.

Entain and other companies working with SportsAid are helping the next crop of young talent to work their way into professional contracts and even get a place to represent Team GB at the Olympics.

Where else does grassroots sport funding come from?

Funding comes from private donations and investments like the above, but it can also be applied for through Sport England. This is a government department responsible for overseeing amateur sports across the country. But they also award funding to small and large clubs to help them achieve their ambitions at a local level.

Anyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket will have contributed to the funding pool available through Sport England. It is estimated that around 66% of all funding made through Sport England has been generated through National Lottery ticket purchases. This equates to approximately £250 million awarded each year.

Sport England also collects data on sporting participation across regions and ethnicities to award funding where it will have the most impact. This allows clubs, charities and teams from deprived areas to have a good chance of accessing funding.

Why is grassroots sports investment important?

Investment in these local sports is not just essential to fund and support promising athletes. Playing community sport creates healthier and active people who are less likely to burden health systems. These sports can also boost confidence and skills that improve employability. For example, learning how to communicate with others and play as a team are transferrable skills that are beneficial in a workplace.

All of the above improves the quality of life of those that participate. At the time, simultaneously reducing the pressure on public services. And that’s why investment from companies like Entain is so vital!

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