A Re-Boot for sport


Sport NI launches £5m National Lottery investment: Supporting Sport to Build Back Better, starting with Project Re-Boot:

7th JANUARY 2021: Sport NI’s ‘Supporting Sport to Build Back Better’ programme has been launched to strengthen the sports sector as we emerge from COVID19. Now, more than ever, the sporting sector is needed to provide the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing benefits of sport for us all, and this £5M National Lottery investment programme has been co-designed with the sports sector; to respond to this challenge. The £5M investment from the National Lottery into this Build Back Better programme is a portion of the money donated by the National Lottery to good causes across the UK. Each week, National Lottery players raise £30 million for good causes across the UK.’

Supporting Sport to Build Back Better will develop a strengthened, more connected sporting and physical recreation sector providing increased capability; and it will develop innovation and confident with new ways of working.

Antoinette McKeown, CEO of Sport NI said, “Thanks to the National Lottery players, Sport NI is able to invest in this exciting and ground breaking new programme, and work with our valued partners; to maximize the power of sport for all. We have listened carefully to the sporting sector and public, regarding the profound impacts of COVID19, and so we have co-designed this programme; to help sport adapt and emerge stronger than ever before. Our clubs and governing bodies of sport have been critical in the COVID 19 response, and have shown what a critical role they have to play in our communities during the pandemic and as we emerge, in terms of our wellbeing, community connection and sense of belonging”.

The Supporting Sport to Build Back Better Programme has a number of projects that Sport NI will be launching over the coming months, namely:


- People Development – Supporting clubs to develop a high quality experience for participant, parents, coaches and those who manage the club.

- Business Development – To provide capability building in business related operations such as strategic and financial planning, risk and crisis management.

- Mental Health & Well-being – Providing capacity and capability to raise mental health awareness, support services and resources

- Connectivity – To help maximise use of the digital space to connect governing bodies to clubs their members and volunteers



- Governing Body Support – A one year programme allowing sports not currently supported through either Sporting Clubs or Sporting Winners to access funding during 2021/22

- Sporting Clubs and Winners Programme extension.

However Sport NI are delighted to launch today, Project Re-Boot, which will invest in new and innovative projects and will support the engagement and re-engagement of participants into sport, particularly people from groups who have been especially impacted by Covid-19, through a partnership approach. It has three levels of investment:


  • Sport NI invite applications in January 2021 that request support from £10,000-£25,000.
  • The closing date for completed applications is 12 noon Monday 1st March 2021
  • All projects must be delivered by 31st March 2022.
  • Collaboration and Partnership working is key to delivering ‘Team Up’ – and Sport NI want clubs and sporting organisations to work together on their projects.
  • Projects do not require evidence of Partnership Funding, but Sport NI encourage organisations to consider additional funding be available from other sources (including in-kind support).

Team Up will invest in projects that support the sporting sector to:

  • innovatively adapt to and plan for a changed sporting landscape due to the anticipated long-lasting impacts of Covid-19.
  • positively impact their communities in the wake of Covid-19.
  • contribute to improved partnership working across the sports sector.

You can find the Team Up Information and Guidance note here


  • Sport NI invite applications in the spring of 2021 that request support up to £5,000.
  • All projects must be delivered by 31st March 2022.
  • Applicants should be aware that partnership funding may be a likely requirement for this investment strand.

Sport Local:

  • Sport NI invite applications in the early summer of 2021 that request support from £500 to £1,000.
  • There is no requirement for partnership funding.

An example of innovation from a club that has engaged with their local community during COVID 19 is Bready Cricket Club, watch the video below:

Brian Allen, North West Cricket Union, reflected on the important role of Bready Cricket Club in the community:  “Generally most of our clubs work has altered the perception of their existence to become community hubs that offer cricket rather than cricket clubs that are optional to the community…”