Article from Levelling the Playing Field & The Alliance of Sport

30/09/2020 Written By Benjamin Eckett

The Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice has secured a grant of £90,048 from Sport England which will be immediately distributed to frontline organisations involved in the Levelling the Playing Field project.

The funding, which is part of Sport England’s Tackling Equalities Fund (TIF), will help Local Delivery Partners involved in Levelling the Playing Field (LtPF) fight the negative impact that coronavirus has had on their work with young people.

The TIF also aims to mitigate the widening of inequalities that exist in sport and physical activity and reduce the effect Covid-19 has had on physical activity levels in lower socio-economic groups and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

The Alliance of Sport, who manage LtPF alongside the Youth Justice Board, will be distributing the funding immediately to several of the frontline sport organisations that have signed up to deliver LtPF across London, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire.

James Mapstone, Chief Executive of the Alliance of Sport, commented: “This grant cements our status as a trusted national partner of Sport England. It shows that they recognise our central role in sport and criminal justice with an extensive network of partners.

“We are proud to be given this chance to further support those working on the front line. This financial boost will help strengthen the positive impact on BAME young people as our LtPF Local Delivery Partners emerge from what has been a very difficult time trying to support those who are at-risk.

“This will enable our partner organisations to better support beneficiaries who, statistics prove, have suffered disproportionately through the pandemic.”

Urban Yogis, which uses yoga to engage and improve health and wellbeing with at-risk young people in areas of deprivation and cultural diversity in south London, will be one LtPF local delivery partner to benefit from the Alliance of Sport’s success in securing the TIF funding.

Ben Eckett, Director of Urban Yogis, said: “Although we continued to support our young people with online services during lockdown, we are only back up to 50% of our previous participation levels since restrictions were eased.

“This funding will open up more opportunities and enable us to increase our timetables, so that more young people can return to us and access our services. Our programmes are vital for young people’s wellbeing, fitness, mental health, development and diversion from crime.”

Sport England’s £20m Tackling Inequalities Fund comes from National Lottery money and is part of a £210m support package to help the sport and physical activity sector get through the Covid-19 crisis.

The TIF will enable community groups working with under-represented audiences to exist and engage with their communities, with a view to keeping them active during the lockdown and early recovery stages.