Sport England have today (10 June 2020) announced the launch of an innovation open call, focused on finding and supporting solutions that can reduce and tackle inequalities exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and can help people to get active.
The open call will initially be open for two weeks, closing on Wednesday 24 June at noon.
Open call for innovative solutions to tackle inequalities
Sport England are calling out for innovative solutions to reduce inequalities and help those most affected by the impact of coronavirus (Covid-19) to get active.
The innovation open call, that will last for two weeks, is aimed at individuals or organisations that can help break down barriers to activity that have long-existed but have been exacerbated by coronavirus.
Successful applicants will be supported by Sport England with a combination of advice, further training, insight, access to connections across the industry, and funding – up to £50,000 funding – from a potential £1 million pot of National Lottery funding.
The open call is primarily looking for solutions from individuals and organisations that have specifically developed solutions for and that can have a positive impact on women, people on low incomes, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people or people living with long-term health conditions.
These solutions should address at least one of the following challenges, as they’re the most likely to be affecting Sport England’s target groups:
- Changes in circumstances: when faced with change due to financial pressures or increased caring responsibilities, certain groups may no longer feel able to invest time and/or money, or may lack the headspace needed to think about, plan, or invest the effort it takes to be active.
- Mental health: certain groups of people are more likely to be experiencing new or worsening feelings of depression, stress, loneliness or anxiety, reducing their likelihood to be physically active.
- Digital exclusion: faced with a continued period of enforced social distancing or isolation, people who are unable to, or who do not have access to digital channels, may not have the opportunity to be physically active.
Applicants need to consider
- The need to have addressed one of the three challenges stated above, rather than thinking broadly about promoting sport and physical activity.
- You’ll be disrupting the current way of doing things.
- You’ll have put people’s needs at the heart of your innovation – you might’ve consulted with your communities to find out about the challenges to being active they face, and then designed your product with specific solutions in mind.
- Think about the softer skills and on-boarding of users towards your digital product or app. Based on Sport England’s research, it is acknowledged that many audiences aren’t connected to digital or don’t like to use it to receive information, so consider how else to engage them.
- Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. You might have a whole new product, a new way of delivering an existing product or a tiny change that has a big effect.
If successful, Sport England have outlined the support to be provided over the following six months.
This support could include:
- Access to connections
- Advice from experts in the sport and physical activity sector
- Access to industry-leading research and insight into activity trends and motivations
- A possible award of up to £50,000, from a potential £1 million pot of National Lottery funding
Beyond this, it is key that innovators submitting an application consider the key research driving this call.
Once an applications has been submitted, responses should be expected within four weeks, but time-frames may extend depending on demand.