Grants available to support physical activity on the River Thames
Grants of up to £5,000 available to those offering physical activity opportunities on the River Thames and inland waterways.
Through the Active Thames Fund, projects or organisations based on any of London’s canals or inland waterways are able to apply for the grants up until 31 October as part of a new programme led by the PLA Active Thames.
Back in 2017, London Sport research estimated the unused tidal Thames capacity at 40.6% which represented a potential increase of 13,000 individuals using the river.
This summer, more than 900 people responded to a London Sport and PLA survey that investigated ways to develop watersports opportunities in the southeast.
The research, conducted by London Sport Consultancy, gave a better understanding of the factors affecting participation from organisational, administrative, delivery and participation perspectives.
It also created a clear picture of participant and workforce profiles, including identifying gaps in engagement and recommendations on how to diversify participation on the water.
The findings also ensure a better understanding of the barriers and needs affecting participation as well as the solutions and opportunities to overcome these.
It is anticipated that the Active Thames funding will improve diversity and inclusion on the river and support the high demand for coach/volunteer development.
London Sport’s Strategic Relationship Manager, Lorna Leach, said:
“This funding is vitally important if we’re to open up much-needed blue space across the capital and support more diverse communities to access them safely for physical activity.
“It’s fantastic to see London Sport Consultancy’s research, and continued partnership with the PLA, being used to create opportunities for physical activity in and around the Thames.
“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who took part in the survey over the summer and giving us their views on how we can provide even better support going forwards.”
Jenny Cooper, Sports Manager at the PLA, added:
“Active Thames is a key part of our Thames Vision strategy, to maximise the social, economic, and environmental benefits of the river.
“With over 940 individuals taking part in the research, we have a wealth of insight into the challenges and aspirations of the watersports community.
“They want to see their sport draw in new audiences and become more reflective of the local community and the research shows that workforce development will be key to achieving this.
“We look forward to continuing to work closely with London Sport to maximise safe access to the waterways to keep active all year round - a key part of our Thames Vision strategy.”