“A cut too far” – Sport England

Derek Mapp, the chairman of Sport England, says that the latest round of funding allocations for the London Olympics will “seriously endanger” any post-2012 sporting legacy.

In his statement, Mapp says: “Our support for the 2012 Games is unquestioned and we know the Government has had to make tough choices. However, the decision to divert a further £55.9 million of Sport England’s share of lottery income between 2009 and 2012 to fund the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a cut too far and seriously endangers the creation of a sporting legacy from the 2012 Games.

“This cut comes on top of Sport England’s share of the already agreed £410 million Olympic lottery contribution. The real cut is in fact far higher. Our target is to lever in £2 for every £1 of Sport England investment and we are currently levering in almost £3. So the true loss to community sport is £223 million.

“The 2012 bid had at its heart a promise to build a legacy from the Games by increasing participation in sport and boosting community sport across the country. It is difficult to see how such a significant reduction in funding for these activities can be squared with the clear commitments the Government has already made about the wider benefits the Games will bring.

“Unless new funding is secured we will have to reduce down our 2012 ambition of increasing participation across two million people. We estimate that the best case scenario would result in 186,000 less people doing sport. Given the partnership funding we lever in the true reduction to the ambition is likely to be significantly higher. Inactivity costs the country £8.2 billion a year so this shortfall will cost the country dear.

“This cut is a real blow to community sport in England. No other country has succeeded in delivering a sporting legacy to their Games. This decision makes our attempt harder.”

For further information, please contact Jane Clarke, Head of Communications (020 7273 1800), Alex Russell, Regional PR Manager (020 7273 1866) or Chris Rolfe, Press and PR Officer (020 7273 1593).