We know that sport has the power to change lives and communities for the better.
Taking part in regular sporting activity can improve an individual’s physical and mental well-being, as well as widen social networks, teach a respect for the rules and learn skills that can be valuable in everyday life.
These ideas have been strengthened during the covid-19 pandemic, when there has been a real focus on staying fit in both body and mind.
We are though only too aware of the number of people whose physical activity levels fall well below the recommended levels.
For many young people their only experience of sport is a school PE lesson, which may not meet their needs or engage their interest and will therefore inevitably fail to encourage them to play outside of school.
Some adults find organised sports sessions too restrictive to fit within their busy daily lives. They need provision that provides greater flexibility on what they play, where, when and at what cost.
All of the data shows that participation levels are lowest amongst girls and young women, those from poorer families or who are disabled.
We all need to work to remove the physical, emotional and environmental barriers that deter these people from getting involved in sport.
WNST’s annual income (pre-pandemic and hopefully in future years) is around £1 million per annum, which we use to make grants to enable the widest possible participation in community sports activities.
We aim to help address these sporting inequalities and ensure that the lessons from what we learn through our funding get disseminated widely.
Historically, we have operated three distinct geographical and thematic programmes, only occasionally venturing outside of these. Further details of each can be found below.