Structure of Sport

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The key sports bodies for voluntary and community sector organisations to know about are Sport England, the National Governing Bodies of Sport, the Central Council for Physical Recreation and County Sports Partnerships. For more information on these and how they interlink see below.



  • Sport England

  • National Governing Bodies

  • Central Council of Physical Recreation

  • County Sports Partnerships


    Sport England


    Sport England is the government agency responsible for delivering a world class community sport system. Their strategy contains the following targets:


    • one million people doing more sport
    • a 25% reduction in the number of 16 year-olds who drop out of five key sports
    • improved talent development systems in at least 25 sports
    • a measurable increase in people's satisfaction with their experience of sport
    • a major contribution to the delivery of the Five Hour Offer for PE and sport for children and young people.


    Sport England works closely with the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) to deliver the strategy and also works in partnership with local authorities. The Sport England Strategy 2009-2013 focuses on sport, not sport and active recreation. As part of the strategy Sport England will also provide community funding.

    More information


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    National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs)

    NGBs are essentially infrastructure organisations for community sport. They exist to organise, regulate, and encourage more people into their sport or activity. There is great variation in the size and capacity of NGBs, ranging from organisations such as the Football Association, British Cycling, to England Volleyball.

    Sport England will spend £110 - £120m per annum to deliver the strategic outcomes outlined in the Sport England Strategy. A significant proportion of which will be channelled via 46 focus NGBs.

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    Sport and Recreation Alliance

    CCPR is the national membership/alliance organisation for governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation. Within the sports sector, its roles and functions are similar to NAVCA. It represents its members and provides a definitive, independent voice for sport and recreation. It has 270 members representing 150,000 clubs across the UK and some 13 million regular participants. Although these participants are drawn from activities as different as country dancing and karate, there are many issues and challenges which all governing bodies have in common.

    NAVCA is working with NGBs and the CCPR to identify how we can assist NGBs in increasing participation. The combined reach of CCPR and NAVCA's membership is potentially more than 310,000 community organisations.

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    County Sports Partnerships

    County Sports Partnerships are local networks of Local Authorities, NGBs, clubs, schools and School Sport Partnerships, Primary Care Trusts and other local agencies committed to working together to increase participation in sport and physical activity.

    All CSPs:

    • Are underpinned by a commitment to equity
    • Seek to ensure that sports development is driven through NGB plans
    • Action is based on local need - influencing the understanding, interpretation and deployment of national, regional and local policy
    • Are focused on investing in, and valuing people
    • Are committed to achieving quality standards through continuous improvement and excellence in order to demonstrate impact
    • Are fundamentally independent so that the core partnership team is impartial in order to broker progress



    CSP profiles

    The network of 49 county sports partnerships are responsible for organising sport across England.


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