Sport can be an extremely positive undertaking for kids, helping youngsters’ gain a sense of teamwork, pride and motivation. However, being able to afford sports isn’t always easy, and there’s often a lot of equipment to pay for, not to mention additional coaching, especially if families are taking sport seriously.
Many charities across the UK recognise the importance that sports play in children’s lives and offer funding, both for clubs and individuals, as a result. If you know where to look, grants are often available. So if your children are becoming sports obsessed and you’re getting worried about the expensive costs involved, consider looking for help from some of the UK’s best known charities and funders.
Sport England – Grants for Organisations
If you’re an organisation and you need funding for football clubs, for example, then Sport England may be able to help. This company want to see more people regularly playing sport, and focuses primarily on disabled people and youngsters between the ages of 14 and 25. By 2017, Sport England intends to have invested approximately £500m into 46 national sports governing bodies to increase the number of people enjoying sports across the country.
Various sports bodies can apply for funding, requesting new equipment to bolster sports player numbers, for example. It’s important that any funding request has an emphasis on getting more people into sport combined with sustaining long-term interest.
Applicants can include:
- Fully constituted trusts, associations or clubs
- Community amateur sports clubs registered with HMRC
- Foundation schools and colleges
- Local authorities
- Independent schools and colleges
- Institutes of further education and higher education
- National governing bodies
Sports Funding for Individuals
In general, if you require sports grants for individuals, you’ll have to rely on smaller charities for funding. Though there are numerous not-for-profit organisations in the UK who can offer help, many will focus on very specific groups and sports, so it’s important to do your research beforehand. However, there are grants for sports to be had, so it’s worthwhile putting in time and effort to narrow your selection and indentify the best places to apply to.
The following are some of the most notable charities offering sports grants, and they may be able to offer financial help.
- The Dickie Bird Foundation
If you’re looking for individual sports grants, the Dickie Bird Foundation may be able to help. This charity focuses on providing financial help for disadvantaged children, and can pay for equipment, clothing and even a small travel allowance.
- GLL Sport Foundation
If you’re a talented athlete trying to reach your dream of competing on the world stage, then applying for funding from the GLL Sport Foundation is perfect for you. GLL operates sports facilities in the south-east of England, and along with financial aid of between £250 and £1,500, the foundation offers training grants to allow athletes to access positive role models to help grow their careers.
- Enable Sport
Founded by Caudwell Children, Enable Sport was developed to provide sports equipment to youngsters and disabled children under the age of 19. You can only apply if your parent’s annual income is less than £45,000, and funding is offered in a limited, one-off programme.
- The Adam Millichip Foundation
If you need sports funding for individuals with disabilities, the Adam Millichip Foundation could be ideal. Funding is offered for disabled people wanting to get involved in sport as a way to improve their lives, with applications accepted from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- The Richard Overall Trust
Finally, for those wanting to encourage disabled and disadvantaged children to play sport, the Richard Overall Trust can provide financial help. Set up in memory of Richard, a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy sufferer, grants are offered to pay for sports clothes, equipment, training, transport and even tickets to sporting events. Applications can be made by individuals, their carers and families, or even groups.
Regardless of whether you’re disabled, disadvantaged or a promising athlete lacking the funds to compete, sports grants could be a way of making your dreams come true. For any application, it’s essential to show your passion for sports or the project you’re developing so that charities and backers get caught up in your enthusiasm and offer to help. There are many charitable organisations and funding options available across the country, so if you’re seeking financial support, don’t put it off and start forging your career in sports right away.