39 National Governing Bodies Join Forces to Create New Voice for Sport

London, March 10, 2015: 39 National Governing Body [NGB] Chief Executives have joined forces to launch the new NGB CEO Forum which will act as an independent voice to help influence and inform national and local policy on sport. The CEO Forum includes mass participation and spectator sports such as football, rugby, cycling and athletics, through to table-tennis, handball and boccia, and includes Olympic, non-Olympic and Paralympic sport.

Adrian Christy, Chair of the CEO Forum and CEO of Badminton England said: “39 National Governing Bodies have come together for the first time to promote their significant role, reach and impact in helping to deliver sport in England. This impact is possible also because of the amazing commitment, energy and passion of almost 2 million unsung sports volunteers who, week in, week out, invest their time to create and develop opportunities for thousands of people of all ages and abilities to take part in sport in local communities; they are a crucial part of the heartbeat of sport in this country and on behalf of the 39 Governing Bodies, we say a huge thank you.

“Over the past decade NGBs have been transformed with the injection of Government and National Lottery money and a much more professional and focussed approach that has seen almost 1 million more people play sport at least once a week over the last decade. However, there is still a lack of awareness among the public, politicians and influencers in terms of the impact of our work and the fact that it links to much wider social and economic agendas.

The CEO Forum unveiled new research by Sheffield Hallam University Sport Industry Research Centre on the state of sport in England. The study, entitled ‘State of Play’, was led by Professor Simon Shibli and demonstrates the impact of the CEO Forum’s 39 NGBs in helping to deliver sport in England in 2014. ‘State of Play’ highlights include:

* Over 1.8 million people belong to sports clubs [over 1 million more than the total membership of all UK political parties]
* There are over 1.9 million NGB linked volunteers [more than the entire NHS workforce]
* NGB linked volunteering was worth £4.9 billion
* Almost 3 million sports competitions took place in England
* Over 50,000 NGB affiliated clubs exist across England
* 9.3 million people did at least 30 minutes of sport every week [up by approximately 900,000 since 2005/06]
* 317 major events were held in England
* 169 positions were held in international sports administration

Professor Simon Shibli, Head of Sheffield Hallam University Sport Industry Research Centre said: “Our research demonstrates the huge impact NGBs are making in the delivery of sport in England at community and elite level, and their growing influence in international sports administration. The fact that over one million more people belong to sports clubs than the combined total of all UK political party membership says much about how much sport matters to the wider population.

“It is also interesting to see the huge scale of sports volunteering in England with over 1.9 million NGB linked volunteers, which is greater than the entire NHS workforce. Their financial contribution was worth almost £5 billion in 2014 with sport being the second largest volunteer sector behind caring for family and friends.

“CEO Forum NGBs also helped to deliver almost three million sports competitions last year and an increasing number within schools, as well a growing number of British officials holding positions in international sports administration. Our research demonstrates the impact of NGBs in supporting some significant social and economic agendas crucial to whichever administration holds office at No 10 Downing Street from May.”

Adrian Christy added:

“With two months to go until the General Election, the CEO Forum is committed to working constructively with whoever is in power come May 7 to ensure that the systems for elite and community sport deliver on their objectives. We also want to ensure that NGBs remain at the heart of the sports system and that NGB funding is maintained to enable us to build on the significant progress achieved over the last decade. In addition, we are calling for an overall vision for sport that aligns central and local Government with NGBs and stakeholders in the sporting landscape, enabling a seamless system from school and community sport through to the podium.” —- Rob Fawdon

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