Sport England has announced it will invest £28.5 million in a bid to get more people playing sport regularly ©Sport England

Sport England has announced it will invest £28.5 million ($37.7 million/€32.1 million) into four national governing bodies in a bid to get more people playing sport regularly.

The latest injection of National Lottery and Government funding will mainly be targeted at those with "a strong affinity with sport, including talented athletes trying to reach the top".

Football, boxing, squash and wheelchair basketball are the sports set to benefit. 

"These investments are the latest in a series of National Lottery funding commitments Sport England are making to help keep people active by playing sport regularly," said Sport England's director of sport, Phil Smith.

"Each of the four national governing bodies here will be working hard to provide their regular players with the experience they want, so they will keep playing.

"They are also trying to make those regulars a more diverse group, with some specific efforts to attract more women, more people with disabilities and those less well-off to enjoy their sport and live an active life."

The investments announced include £8,988,000 ($11.9 million/€10.1 million) to the Football Association (FA).

It will go towards supporting regular football players, and will allow the FA to focus on providing "high quality club and league experiences" to the 1.6 million people that play affiliated football.

It is also hoped that this investment will lead to more opportunities for women, disabled people and youth players to get involved in the game.

The Football Association has received £8,988,000 ©Getty Images
The Football Association has received £8,988,000 ©Getty Images

England Boxing has received £2,835,266 ($3.7 million/€3.1 million) to help them recruit and retain more regular boxers from a "wider range of backgrounds".

It will also be used to develop stronger clubs and governance infrastructure, including an improved competition system and education initiatives for volunteers and staff.

Part of this will involve the expanding of resources available to help clubs and regions deliver the sport at grassroots and access local and national support and investment.

"We are pleased and welcome the fact the Sport England have shown this level of confidence in us and have agreed to back our ambitious new strategy and delivery plan up until 2021," said England Boxing chief executive Gethin Jenkins.

"It's also recognition of the immense work the members and clubs undertake in delivering the sport of boxing throughout the country.

"Working with the membership, this funding and support will help us with our ambitions to continue to grow the numbers participating in competitive and recreational boxing, while also improving the overall competition and delivery experience for the boxers, coaches, officials and volunteers involved in the sport."

British Wheelchair Basketball was one of the national governing bodies to receive a financial boost ©Sport England
British Wheelchair Basketball was one of the national governing bodies to receive a financial boost ©Sport England

England Squash has been granted a core award of £3,937,375 ($5.2 million/€4.4 million), a talent award of £2,134,000 ($2.8 million/€2.4 million) and a high performance award of £750,000 ($994,000/€845,000).

It is claimed this will allow them to focus on regular squash players who are "seeking more informal and social opportunities to play the game".

The body will also be focusing on reducing the barriers to female participation, with 75 per cent of regular players being male.

British Wheelchair Basketball has been given a core market award of £1,212,665 ($1.6 million/€1.3 million) and a talent award of £222,335 ($294,000/€250,000).

This investment is designed to support those people who play wheelchair basketball regularly, either in structured competitions and leagues or more informally as part of a local club.

The talent award will be used to focus on the network of regional performance centres, ensuring that all those who attend receive the best quality coaching and support.

"National governing bodies play a key role in delivering sport at the grassroots, encouraging people to get involved and keep participating," added British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch.

"They also help develop the next generation of talent.

"This investment from the Government and National Lottery will help football, squash, boxing and wheelchair basketball support participants, bring communities together and have a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people's lives."