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UK Athletics

Eight Lanes on... The Norwich Union Community Sports Fund

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Active Archie
Archie found he had loads more little friends once he got his hands on £50k!


Each E-Inspire, we’ll focus on giving you a quick and painless guide on any subject matter in athletics in eight easy-to-digest points.


For this issue read eight lanes on the Norwich Union Community Sports Fund:


  1. Free money! The name may not be exciting, but the concept is. Imagine a bank manager with a big stash of cash he is happy to give away for free. There are over 200 schemes across the UK registered on the website, all vying for a share of the fund!  

  2. Get voting! All you have to do is log on to the join our team website, register, and then cast your vote for your favourite local sport initiative that you want to be in the money. This is where something akin to Eurovision occurs, with people able to vote and support an initiative. Those with most votes share part of the cash fund.


  1. Worth a bash – last year, 176 out of the 216 local sports schemes secured at least £1000 of funding, 12 were regional winners nabbing £12,500 each and one lucky scheme picked up £50k – can’t be bad…


  1. Keep it Simple – Last year’s big £50k winner was “Active Archie” a Sheffield based initiative targeting young children during school lunchtimes, after school and during PE lessons. Archie was the name of the big furry dog used as the scheme’s mascot.


Darren Campbell
Darren Campbell - very disciplined, and full of respect!
  1. Community Spirit – if you want to support a scheme you can look on the website and put in your postcode or region – it will then list all the projects in that area that could benefit from your support. Try it – didn’t know your local youth club was trying to resurface it’s five-a-side pitch? You do now!


  1. Cause Celebre – sports personalities are lining up to endorse the project. Darren Campbell says: “It is a great scheme as the communities can get involved and decide on the initiatives they think can improve their local area.  It brings the community back together and they choose how to improve sport in the area and where funding should go. A lot of people and organisations give out funding but often the local community don’t know where it has gone – but this is different.”


  1. Campbell part II: “Money is vital in all sports including athletics.  For me growing up on a council estate my youth club was one of the places I went to learn discipline, self respect and how to respect others.  Ricky Hatton went to the same youth club initially when he started his boxing and it shows you good things can come out of community initiatives.”  Here here we say


  1. The Final Countdown: The votes have been counted and the winner is…….unfortunately you will have to wait until the 1st September to find this out, as this is when voting closes and the 12 regional winners are announced. Each of these 12 will all be treated to a star studded awards dinner in London before the one lucky £50,000 Gold winner is declared.