Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sports Groups Still Waiting for Share of [Pounds Sterling]15m Olympics Fund

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sports Groups Still Waiting for Share of [Pounds Sterling]15m Olympics Fund

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard Sports News Correspondent

BORIS JOHNSON'S flagship Olympic scheme to boost sports participation and train hundreds more coaches has hit major delays, the Evening Standard can reveal.

Community sports clubs and charities are still waiting for funding more than two years after the Mayor came to office with a pledge to use the Olympics to reverse the downward trend in sports activity among Londoners.

A Freedom of Information request by the Standard has found that out of the [pounds sterling]15.5 million legacy fund set up by the Mayor, only [pounds sterling]850,000 in grants has been made to sports schemes.

The Mayor's commissioner for sport, Labour MP Kate Hoey, launched the scheme in April last year. But critics have complained that the scheme was launched prematurely and it is handicapped because City Hall has little capacity to make grants.

Much is at stake for Mr Johnson, whose other 2012-related pledge on coming to office to slash Olympic construction costs led to few savings. Legacy fund recipients so far include [pounds sterling]325,000 for six mobile swimming pools, [pounds sterling]30,000 for a Brixton riding school, [pounds sterling]83,000 for the Panathlon disability sports competition and [pounds sterling]60,000 to the London Boxing Academy in Tottenham. In each case grants are matched by the scheme's provider.

Responsibility for allocating [pounds sterling]10 million of mayoral cash was passed recently to the Football Foundation, which will fund facilities, and the National Skills Academy, which will fund coaching badges.

But their grants will not begin to flow until the autumn. …

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