Sport England have launched their Return To Play: Small Grants Scheme. This consists of awards between £300 and £10,000 that support clubs and community groups respond to the challenges of returning to play during the coronavirus pandemic. We highly recommend that all of our member dodgeball clubs apply to make a positive difference to over 500 people in their local area in this tricky period of our lives – read on to find out how.
The Return to Play: Small Grants fund seeks to support projects addressing the challenges coronavirus (Covid-19) has posed to people taking part in sport and physical activity. We have put together this short article to help highlight the difference you can make for both existing members and those who haven’t yet thrown a dodgeball and give you ideas on how we can put a project together using proven methods.
Why Should Clubs Apply?
Firstly, you can help those closest to you – your existing members. You may not have seen some of your members properly in over 7 months now. Being part of a club is something special and creates a sense of belonging. Sport England Active Lives Survey shows that people’s happiness levels fell and anxiety rose as the amount of people playing team sports more than halved during the summer of 2020. Some members may have been financially hit by the viruses and may not feel that they are able to afford sessions. 7-in-10 adults remain worried about exercising with others and report they’d feel safer exercising at home rather than public spaces. This will have a knock on effect on how many people re-join your club on a long-term basis.
Applying means you’ll be able to look after your members as well as the wider community by offering better-equipped, high quality sessions at a lower cost, instilling more confidence in members about returning to play, and supporting them as we all get back on our feet.
Finally, you can help British Dodgeball by applying. We will be able to provide services for your club’s project such as training and marketing, which will help our organisation to remain sustainable throughout this challenging period.
Who can Apply for the Grant?
There are over 1,000 grants available to eligible organisations in England, put in place so that we can help to treat some of the damage the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. The key groups Sport England want to support is:
- Projects located in areas of high deprivation (decile 1-3 of the Indices of Deprivation). To see which decile your project location fits into, you can use this postcode checker.
- Organisations working with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, people on lower incomes, disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and people experiencing a greater burden of care because of coronavirus.
Clubs showing they want to work with the above groups will have the best chance of getting funding. There are no age groups stipulated, but we recommend that clubs located in COVID-alert Tier 2 or 3 areas apply to strengthen their junior clubs as projects need to start within 6 weeks of the application, and clubs in those regions may still not be able to play indoor adult sport by then. Clubs in COVID-alert Tier 1 can apply to strengthen any aspect of their club.
What the Funding will Cover
- Changes required to adhere to published government guidance
- Volunteer training, e.g. health and safety requirements, risk assessments, etc.
- Additional coaching/facility hire costs as a direct result of having to deliver to smaller group sizes
- New ways of delivering activity for your existing participants/members
Projects must be ready to begin within six weeks from submitting your application.
Taking the Funding Further – Our Ideas
Your club might wish to to apply for funding to cover:
- Coaching qualifications and equipment to better run COVID-secure sessions
- Marketing to show members that sessions are back and safe
- Venue hire for a number of months so you can cover sessions with less members and support members who have been hit financially by the pandemic.
- Sanitisation products and signage.
Please contact [email protected] and we can support you through the application process. We believe that our sport can do more than support only your members however. Dodgeball is in an amazing position to help even more people. It is one of the most popular sports amongst young people, with over half a million children playing every week in schools. We are in a unique position in the sporting landscape in this country in that everybody knows what dodgeball is, but we are a very young sport and lack the kind of infrastructure more established sports have where any young person knows exactly where their local clubs are and how to join.
We can support you to build a larger funding bid which allows you to improve the lives of over 500 people in your area by:
- Build relationships with schools, youth groups and other community organisations to train staff to deliver dodgeball and signpost anyone wishing to play more to you.
- Promote sessions by paying a club member or a sports coach to deliver sessions at schools and community groups.
- Pay for newcomers events where you can teach beginners the rules and recruit them into the club.
- Pay for the creation of a website with useful resources including nutrition cards, online activity cards to further connect with your community.
Any club that engages in a project like this will create a strong local network of organisations and an extremely good reputation amongst their local community, paving the way for success for years to come. It may also be a great way of supporting a member who has lost employment resulting from the pandemic and wishes to pick up some regular coaching hours. To discuss the bid, and to access support writing your application, please email [email protected] now.