COVENTRY will benefit from £624,624 funding as part of Sport England’s wider investment in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The cash will tackle inactivity in local communities and engage underrepresented groups, such as the disabled and people on lower incomes – a core part of Sport England’s 10-year strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’.
The National Lottery-funded investment has been awarded to Coventry City Council as part of a £3million Commonwealth Active Communities Fund.
The funding – also being shared among Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country – will ‘support the creation of a wide range of opportunities to help people get active in their local streets and parks’.
Sport England’s latest Active Lives Survey show the West Midlands’ inactivity levels have worsened since the start of the pandemic, with more than 100,000 adults now being classed as ‘inactive’ and nearly 70,000 fewer active adults.
Coun Kamran Caan, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, said the authority planned to develop new activities with partners in the run up to the Games and build on the success of schemes such as ‘Go Parks’.
“The funding will aim to help residents who are isolated and less active in the community take part in sport and physical activity to improve their wellbeing and help the city’s young people to get involved in local activity.”
He added the 2022 Commonwealth Games was another major event for the city to help inspire and work with all communities at a local level.
Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England CEO, said the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was an exciting chance to bring people together through sport and activity.
“The challenge is turning this into a legacy that has lasting impact and helps people to connect and stay active.”
He said ‘legacy’ depended on creating long-term local opportunities for people at the right location and at the right cost with the Commonwealth Active Communities Fund being important to build foundations and create lasting change in the region.
Commonwealth Games Minister Nigel Huddleston, said: “The Commonwealth Active Communities Fund will help improve access to sport for people across the West Midlands, regardless of their ability or their background. Birmingham 2022 will not only be a celebration of world-class athletes from across the Commonwealth.
“As these programmes show, they are also a golden opportunity to champion our local communities and give people the spaces and facilities they need to keep active.”
Nicola Turner MBE, Director of Legacy at Birmingham 2022, said: “Birmingham 2022 is a wonderful opportunity to bring people back together after a hard couple of years.
“The excitement is really building now, and preparations are well underway. The Games is just the start, we hope thousands of people and businesses in the region will enjoy long-lasting benefits.
“If Birmingham 2022 can inspire people to connect with each other, feel less lonely and lead a more active lifestyle, then we think that’s a valuable legacy from the Games.
“We are excited to be working with Sport England and supporting our communities across the region to become more active. Through these projects we will see people from all corners of the West Midlands being invited to join in.”
Read more about the organisation’s commitment to Commonwealth Games Legacy on the Sport England website.