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£624,000 of funding awarded to Coventry to build 2022 Commonwealth Games legacy

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Sport England has announced £624,624 of new funding for Coventry as part of its wider investment into the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The aim of the funding is to tackle inactivity in local communities and engage underrepresented groups, such as people on lower incomes and disabled people – 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 £3m Commonwealth Active Communities Fund. It was awarded to three other West Midlands areas – Solihull, Birmingham and the Black Country – to support the creation of a wide range of opportunities to help people get active in their local streets and parks.

The funding announcement for Coventry comes as Sport England’s latest Active Lives Survey found inactivity levels in the West Midlands have worsened since the start of the pandemic, with over 100,000 more inactive adults and nearly 70,000 fewer active adults.

Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council, said: “It’s great news that we have been successful in securing £625,000 of funding from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“We plan to develop a number of new activities with partners in the lead up to the Games, as well as build on the success of schemes like 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 as well helping the city’s young people to get involved in local activity.

“Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is another major event for our city to help inspire and work with all of our communities at a local level.”

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is a massive moment for the nation next year and 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. Legacy is dependent on the creation of long-term local opportunities for people – at the right location and at the right cost.

“That is why the Commonwealth Active Communities Fund is so important. It’s building the foundations to create change that lasts in the West Midlands – bringing communities together and getting people active in a long-term, sustainable way well beyond the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

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.

Written by: Calum Wilkes

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