Sport England has today confirmed that Volleyball England’s annual funding is to be cut by 34%. This reduction in funding is in line with the cuts applied to most other National Governing Bodies (NGBs).
The announcement means that Volleyball England (VE) has been given £422,000 to sustain its activities from April 1 until September 30.
During that time, VE will make its full four year funding submission (for 2017-2021) to Sport England, with this initial amount to be deducted from whatever is subsequently awarded.
The budget reduction means that VE will now restructure its head office operations in Loughborough to better align itself with Sport England’s strategy of supporting the core market of existing players and programmes.
This will result in job losses as well as the termination of some existing initiatives. This restructuring will take place quickly so that a more appropriate structure is in place by April 1.
Commenting on the announcement, Keith Nicholls, Acting President of Volleyball England, said: “It is with great sadness that I announce that redundancies are inevitable within the constraints of our new budget. Decisions on the future shape of our workforce will be made quickly to give departing staff as much time as possible to find alternative employment before their current contracts expire. I would ask the volleyballing community to be patient with us at this time as we work through what will be an unsettling and difficult few weeks.”
VE’s new structure will be designed to support grass roots volleyball and to provide the professional resources which the sport’s extensive volunteer base needs, while at the same time maintaining some support for high performance talent pathways. The organisation is determined to adopt much more of a collaborative approach, with central resource and volunteers working together as a team on a project-by-project basis.
Nicholls continued: “Now, more than ever, we are going to need our volleyballing volunteers to help maintain our current activities and to keep growing the sport. As a governing body, we therefore need to ensure that our resources are deployed as effectively as possible to support that volunteer body, without whom there would be no volleyball in this country.”
“A few weeks ago, I said that we wanted to refresh and renew our governing body. Our interim funding announcement was delayed because Sport England wanted to see improvements in our governance and in our leadership structures. We have already done this. Now we must reconnect with our core market and that means all clubs and players, not just the elite top tier. These are difficult times but I hope that we will emerge as a stronger governing body as a result - and with a more productive relationship with our volunteer base.”
If you would like to get in touch with VE about what this announcement may mean for volleyball in your region, please contact us at iwanttohelp [at] volleyballengland.org.
Details of the amounts awarded to other NGBs in the February round of funding announcements can be found on the Sport England website.