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Local Community Sport Groups Are Struggling To Stay Open And Are Crying Out For More Support To Safeguard Their Future

25th January 2018


More than half of people who attend local community sport groups are concerned their group will shut down.

A quarter of people say their local community sport group has already had to close. In a new partnership with Sported, TSB steps in to help local community sport groups continue to be vibrant and accessible.

New research from TSB reveals that more than half (54%) of people who are a member of a local community sport group are concerned that their group will struggle to stay running without professional support from external organisations.

The research highlights that these groups are heavily reliant on volunteers and a significant number of members are worried about the ability of groups to continue running in the future. And it’s no wonder, with a quarter of people (25%) having already seen a local community sport group forced to close.

Many of these community groups are run on shoestring budgets by only a handful of volunteers. Almost three quarters (71%) of people say that the leaders of their community sports group run the group in their spare time; yet 61% of people are concerned about the lack of volunteers able to dedicate time to running the group.

So why does this matter?

The power of sport in the UK extends far beyond getting active. Sport plays a vital role in bringing communities up and down the country together – and fulfilling the potential of young people.

85% of sport groups exist in urban areas – and 44% are in the bottom 30% of the most deprived areas of the UK 1.

TSB’s research shows that:

  • 82% of parents believe community sport groups are important for their children’s personal development.
  • More than three quarters (77%) of people feel that community sport is an important part of their social life and helps to maintain their happiness.
  • Two thirds (68%) of people believe community sport helps with community cohesion.
  • 68% of people say community sport is vital in helping to transform the lives of young people.
  • 69% of people say that their local sports group has helped them to meet people from a different background that they wouldn’t have otherwise met.
  • 65% of people believe community sport is important in helping reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Safeguarding the future of community sports groups

TSB has an absolute belief that banks should be there to serve the local communities they’re part of – not the other way round. That’s why Britain’s challenger bank has today announced a new partnership with leading Sport for Development charity, Sported – to support local community sport groups right across the country to continue to be vibrant and accessible.

With the help of Sported, TSB branches will partner with local community sport groups to provide professional skills-based support in the key operational areas needed to keep the group running. Expertise such as budgeting, marketing, social media or PR, for example.

TSB believes this partnership can create a step-change in the way local groups are run – and ultimately ensure that the young people who could benefit most from Sport for Development programmes can continue to access their vital support. The partnership will kick off in four pilot regions: North East Scotland, South Midlands, Thames Valley & South Coast, and Greater Manchester.

Paul Pester, Chief Executive Officer of TSB says: “For many, local sports groups are the hub of community life and the people who run them and support them all share the same values. Sport has a transformational power that enables young people to thrive – it teaches teamwork and problem-solving skills and it builds a sense of infectious pride that spreads to teammates, families and the local community.

“At TSB we are all about working in partnership with local communities and that’s why we’ve partnered with Sported – to enable local communities to thrive through the power of sport. It’s all about local people helping local people, and our TSB partners are really looking forward to working with sport groups right across the country – to help them continue to make a real difference to the lives of young people in their local community.”

Chris Grant, Chief Executive Officer of Sported, comments: “Sported’s members hold a special place in communities. The groups collectively shape and inspire the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people around the UK, and create a unique sense of unity and community spirit – all through the power of sport.

“TSB is passionate about celebrating ordinary people doing extraordinary things, so we’re thrilled to be launching this exciting new partnership. It brings together Sported’s network and experience in Sport for Development with the expertise and enthusiasm of TSB staff to help these vital community assets survive and thrive.”


Notes to editors


  • TSB’s research was conducted in January 2018 by One Poll surveying 1,000 UK adults who are a member of, or are regularly involved with community sport.
  • 1 Data from Sported’s membership database.

About TSB

TSB launched back onto high streets on 9 September 2013.

TSB was built to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.

We have a simple, straightforward and transparent banking model and make clear on our website how we operate and make money. We offer the products and services people tell us they want, with none of the funny stuff people normally associate with traditional banks.

Our five million customers appear to notice: TSB is Britain’s most recommended high street bank and was identified as one of the top 10 big companies to work for in 2017.

For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website

About Sported

Sported is a charity and free membership organisation, supporting over 3,000 community sport groups and youth groups across the UK that deliver Sport for Development. These amazing groups use the power of sport to tackle the root causes of some of society’s biggest problems, such as crime, anti-social behaviour and obesity. More than that, they are giving disadvantaged young people the opportunities, confidence and support to overcome their personal hurdles and succeed in life.

Sported supports the inspirational local heroes that run these organisations by providing free business and financial support so that they can become bigger, more sustainable and more effective. The charity’s network of volunteer business mentors works with its members on a one-to-one basis, providing expert consultancy on business issues ranging from financial planning and fundraising to marketing and governance.

Registered charity numbers: 1123313 / SCO43161

For further information about Sported, please visit its website: