More than £250,000 has been distributed to sports clubs and community organisations across the county to help them continue their activities during the pandemic, with a further £250,000 secured for grants over the next three years.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Kent and Medway Active Partnership – Kent Sport – has distributed essential funds to organisations that provide sport and physical activity, to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 locally by providing physical activity sessions for those most in need.

Sport England’s Tackling Inequalities Fund and the Everyday Active Emergency Small Grant, supported by Kent Trust for Youth Sport, have ensured clubs and community organisations have been able to continue to deliver sessions, overcoming the challenges of lockdowns and social distancing.

Invicta Karate Academy

A total of £209,945 of funding has been provided to date by Sport England, to 49 separate projects across Kent and Medway, while the Everyday Active Emergency Small Grant has allocated £41,490 of funds to 105 recipients.

From boxing sessions for people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease to virtual chairobics, Nordic walking and socially distanced outdoor dance sessions: the range of projects, energy and ingenuity of the sports and physical activity sector in Kent has been endless.

Kent Sport – an integrated team of Kent County Council and Sport England funded staff – has now been awarded a third phase of funding from Sport England, for projects running to the end of March 2022, taking the total funding awarded to Kent Sport via the Tackling Inequalities fund to £341,000.

K Sports festival

The Everyday Active Emergency Small Grant is also set to continue, with the Kent Trust for Youth Sport, which recently closed its doors after almost 21 years of invaluable service to the county, providing £60,000 of funding across the next three years.

Together, both funding streams will provide an essential resource to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on under-represented groups and address the widening gap of physical activity participation inequality across Kent and Medway.

The funding specifically targets organisations providing activities for:

  • Children and young people
  • People with disabilities
  • People with long-term health conditions
  • People from lower socio-economic groups
  • Ethnically diverse communities
  • Strode Park

Dick Fedorcio, Chair of the Kent and Medway Active Partnership, said: “Our aim is to get more people across Kent and Medway to be more active, more often, to enjoy healthy lives.

“These timely grants have already been key in supporting and helping organisations to survive and deliver vital sport and physical activity projects to their communities during the pandemic.

“The renewed funding from Sport England and the continuation of the Everyday Active Small Grants programme will provide a combined package of support to continue helping communities recover from the impact of Covid-19 and build resilience for the future.”

Among the many projects supported in the past year were:

Cowdrey Cricket Club (Tonbridge and Malling) which received £500 towards the cost of coaching;

Dartford Bridge Badminton Club – £200 towards equipment;

K Sports Hockey (Tonbridge and Malling) – £250 towards pitch hire for a sports festival;

Olympia Boxing CIC – Boxing for Parkinsons (Medway) £480 towards online sessions;

Space 2 Be Me (Maidstone) – £462 towards coaching and equipment;

Strode Park Foundation (Canterbury) – £500 for sports equipment;

Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club – £486 for equipment;

Swanley Netball Club – £450 for equipment for a fun day (pictured top of page);

Hornets Community Boxing Club, Thanet – £500 for equipment;

Invicta Karate Academy, Sevenoaks – £400 for a marketing and social media campaign.

For more information about the Tackling Inequalities Funding, and to view some of our featured case studies, visit our website: https://www.kentsport.org/coronavirus/coronavirus-clubs-and-organisations/tackling-inequalities-funding/

For information on the Everyday Active Small Grants fund, visit https://www.kentsport.org/make-sport-happen/funding-insight/everyday-active-emergency-grants/ and for information about how to apply, visit  https://kent.sportsuite.co.uk/funding/1261

For further enquiries, please contact Sophie Ward (Sophie.ward@kent.gov.uk, 03000 417225).

By Ed