Projects using sport to combat knife crime secure government funding

A total of 49 projects which are using sport and physical activity to tackle serious violence and knife crime this summer will share £400,000 worth of government funding.

The grants will ensure that more than 3,000 young people will be given places on sport and activity programmes to help keep them away from possible violence and crime.

Announced by sport and culture secretary Jeremy Wright, the funding comes on the back of the Prime Minister’s knife crime summit in April, at which the government and sporting bodies agreed to work together on the issue.

Funded projects including extra midnight basketball sessions from Haringey Sports Development Trust in London, as well as 12 and 14-week sporting activity courses run specifically on Friday nights at Tottenham’s Broadwater Farm Community Centre and the Bidgley Power Foundation in Birmingham.

All the funded projects, which work with young people aged 10 to 21, will receive partner packs with promotional materials from the Home Office’s #knifefree campaign.

“Sport is a powerful tool that can play an important role in turning young people away from crime and violence,” Wright said.

“This scheme will reach thousands of young people in the most at-risk areas and give them coaching, skills, and opportunities to thrive.

“I am confident that this programme will deliver real change and have a lasting impact on the participants and their communities.”

The funding, which will come from the National Lottery Fund, will be distributed by Sport England. 

“We’ve only started to uncover sport’s potential as a tool to engage young people at risk of being involved in knife crime,” said Sport England chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth.

“The projects will offer a range of sport and activities involving mentoring and coaching sessions to reduce the risk of being involved in serious violence and boost the number of young people experiencing the massive benefits of getting active.”

First published: www.sportsmanagement.co.uk, written by Tom Walker, 24 July