Sport England Continue to Invest In Lacrosse

Sport England Invest in Lacrosse


The Sport England Funding Statement released today (16 December) announced that English Lacrosse has been awarded a £2.8 million National Lottery and Government funding investment for the 2017-2021 funding period.

John Neal Chair of English Lacrosse commented:

“As the first independent chair of English Lacrosse I am pleased with the outcome of the Investment Submission prepared by our team. The Sport England funding for 17-21 will allow us to achieve the objectives laid out in our business plan. We have an ambitious programme outlined to improve our services to those who already play and attract new people into lacrosse. As a new chair my role is to ensure that Sport England’s investment is used effectively. We must also drive all our ambitious growth plans forward, supported by additional commercial funding, in order to sustain and build upon current success. This will be further enabled through our continued modernisation of the board.”

Mark Coups, CEO, English Lacrosse continued:

“We are pleased that Sport England has continued to invest in the growth of lacrosse in England. Their support for lacrosse will ensure the successful delivery of both our business plan and 2 major world events over the next 4 years.

It is no surprise to us that reductions in grants have been made by Sport England for 2017-21 as throughout the consultation period this has been communicated consistently. Whilst the grant represents a 20% reduction from the £3.4million English Lacrosse received between 2013-2017 the award represents an endorsement for our organisation.

Government has been consistent in its message to encourage NGBs to become more commercially minded and financially independent. This is underlined in Sport England’s strategy, ‘Towards an Active Nation’ as they call for organisations to reduce the level of financial dependency on public money.

English Lacrosse has worked tirelessly to put itself and the sport of lacrosse in the best position possible to meet the challenges of the new direction in sport funding. I would like to thank my team at English Lacrosse and those who have supported us in this process.

A reduction of 20% will impact the organisation but we are prepared to face the challenge ahead whilst continuing to succeed in developing a sport that enhances so many lives.”

A New Sporting Strategy

Significant reductions to grassroots sport funding have been threatened since the announcement of the 2015 Government Budget. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport expected up to 40% reduction in funding during this period but thanks to high profile campaigns like Sport and Recreation Alliance’s #getyourkiton, supported by English Lacrosse, grassroots sport did not realise reductions to that level.

Under the leadership of a new sports minister, Tracy Crouch, DCMS released a new sporting strategy for the nation #sportingfuture. This strategy laid out a new direction for the way sports funding is distributed in England. The funding detailed that any properly constituted organisation could bid for funding providing that it could demonstrate that it assisted in achieving the outcomes of the strategy.

At the heart of the strategy sit five fundamental outcomes: physical health, mental health, individual development, social and community development and economic development. The strategy also sought to redress the balance within the funding of sport, which has been focused on National Governing Bodies of Sport, to a wider range of local, regional and national organisations, including commercial business.

Sport England’s strategy #towardsanactivenation reflected the DCMS outcomes and change in focus of funding therefore challenging NGBs to be more financially self-sufficient. Only 39% of the public funds available will be used to support the core sports market, the primary source for NGB funding.

Investment decisions were determined by the strength of the investment submission. This submission, written by English Lacrosse laid out the shared objectives between the Sport England strategy and English Lacrosse business plan.

Success in Lacrosse

English Lacrosse (EL) has a long history of successfully meeting development targets for Sport England funding. EL was awarded £3.4 million in the 2013-17 funding cycle based on a track record of success against previous investment. This was the largest investment in the governing body at the time.

Sport England CEO, Jennie Price said, “for the first time we have created a specific fund to reward success by NGBs who can prove they can grow their sports. This is about backing winners.”

Lacrosse- A Growing Sport

  • Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) membership has increased by nearly 40% since 2011 to 56 countries
  • 28 countries applied to participate in the 2017 Women’s World Cup, 19 countries participated in 2013
  • Sport England has recognised EL for its past performance and opportunities to grow, thereby increasing its investment by 54% to £3.4m over 4 years (£850,000 per year) as part of 2013-17 Whole Sport Plan and an additional £400,000 from 2014-17 as part of Reward and Investment Programme
  • Sky Sports “Sportswomen” programme reported in March 2015 that lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country

More People Playing, More Often

  • EL membership continues to grow with now over 33,000 members, up from 5,500 in 2005, registered with affiliated clubs, universities and schools
  • University BUCS registered teams has increased by 120% since 2009, now over 200 teams
  • EL has had an 84% increase in registered volunteer roles
  • Over 200,000 people participate in lacrosse annually in schools, colleges, universities, clubs and wider communities

A Sustainable Future

As reflected in our Business Plan submission to Sport England, English Lacrosse has taken the following actions to meet the challenge presented:

• written a business plan for English Lacrosse to prepare English Lacrosse for a sustainable future;

• engaged with experts in the sports business field to develop a commercial strategy for the English Lacrosse Association;

• negotiated commercial relationships with 3 key partners;

• launched the English Lacrosse Individual Registration scheme.