DD2289 London Youth Games

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
05 February 2019
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Executive Director, Communities & Intelligence and Monitoring Officer

Executive summary

This decision form seeks approval for the expenditure of £100,000 to the London Youth Games Foundation to contribute towards the staging of the London Youth Games.

The London Youth Games is Europe's largest youth sports festival. It is a season of events taking place over 9 months including both School and Community Competitions across 30 different sports. The competitions are part of the national School Games Programme.

School Competitions are organised locally by School Games Organisers, with the London finals hosted at Crystal Palace in July each year. Open competitions enable the most talented young people in each borough to compete to become ‘champions of London’.


That the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves:

An award of £100,000 of grant funding to the London Youth Games Foundation for The London Youth Games, comprising of £50,000 in 2018/19 and £50,000 in 2019/2020.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Sport Unites

Sport Unites is a new, ground-breaking programme which has been developed to enable sport and physical activity initiatives to contribute to the long-term vision of making London the most active and socially integrated city in the world.

Sport Unites will invest up to £8.8m of GLA funding into community sport in London from April 2018 – March 2021 across the four themes:

a) Theme 1 – Sport for Social Integration;
b) Theme 2 – Active Londoners;
c) Theme 3 – Workforce and Capacity Building; and
d) Theme 4 – Young Londoners.

This funding falls under Theme 1 - Sport for Social Integration strand.

- Strand 1 – Sport for Social Integration – Community sport has a role to play in realising the three facets of the Mayor’s vision for a socially integrated city, Equality, Participation and Relationships. Our investment through the Sport for Social Integration strand will support initiatives that use sport to bring Londoners from more than one community or faith group together and/or cater specifically for Londoners who are isolated or lonely. This will contribute to improved social integration, reduced prejudice between communities, and isolated Londoners feeling better connected and supported.

- The London Youth Games investment is part of the “Performance Pathways” strand of Sport Unites. Performance Pathways is a ring-fenced investment to support talented young Londoners, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, by providing them with opportunities to train and compete in appropriate settings to realise their sporting potential.

Approval for Sport Unites was granted by the Mayor under cover of MD2244. The Mayor also (under cover of the same MD) delegated authority to the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence to approve the detailed expenditure proposals and delivery approach of individual themes 2 and 3 of the Sport Unites programme via director’s decision form(s).

London Youth Games

The London Youth Games is Europe’s largest youth sport festival. It is a season of events taking place over 9 months, including both School and Community Competitions across 30 different sports. The London Youth Game is organised by the London Youth Games Foundation. The competitions are part of the national School Games Programme.

School Competitions are organised locally by School Game Organisers with the London finals hosted at Crystal Palace in July in each year. Open competitions enable the most talented young people in each borough to compete and become ‘Champions of London’. The London Youth Games has been a springboard for many Londoners to develop their sporting careers, such as Bradley Wiggins, Christina Ohuruogu, Luol Deng, Mo Farah and Rio Ferdinand.

Participating in the Games encourages young people to be more active and provides young people with a range of over 30 sports to choose to be involved in, enabling those not necessarily interested in ‘traditional’ sports to find something they are passionate about. Approximately 80% of Games participants say they are inspired to be more active as a result of taking part.

London Youth Games have an award-winning volunteer programme which enables and encourages young people to gain essential skills and experience, sign-posting them towards continued involvement in local community sport.

Sport England and the City of London have indicated that, in principle, they will also provide funding to the London Youth Games Foundation, so this would be a tripartite partnership of support involving these organisations and the GLA.

The London Youth Games Foundation has received sponsorship for this financial year (2017-18) from Tate & Lyle. This sponsorship will not attract any naming rights; Tate & Lyle are solely interested in engagement and volunteering opportunities for their staff team. The CEO has declared that this funding is not linked in any way with anything to do with the sugar refining business. Accordingly, London Youth Games Foundation, which includes representation from the London Boroughs, is content with the association with Tate & Lyle. It is proposed that our award would be conditional on there being no association with Tate & Lyle.

We acknowledge that the Tate & Lyle brand has commonly been associated with the business of sugar refining. However, in 2010 the company announced the sale of its sugar refining business, eventually divesting of it in 2012, concentrating their resources on growing Tate & Lyle's food ingredients operations.

This award is conditional on:

• Sport England and the City of London contributing, thus making this a partnership arrangement; and
• There being no association with Tate & Lyle.

The Mayor’s Sport Unites programme aims to make London the most socially integrated and active city in the world. As part of this, Sport Unites sought to fund a project or programme with the goal of introducing young people to sport at entry level and to offer their first experience of a competitive sporting environment. It is vital for this project to be able to reach young Londoners from all boroughs and to remove any economic barriers that may prevent young people from participating. It is also important to expose young people to sports that they may otherwise not be able to engage in, such as Archery, Boccia and Fencing.

The London Youth Games Foundation are in a unique position to be able to reach young Londoners due to being part of the national School Games Programme and the subsequent representation across all London councils, working with the majority of schools in London. Due to this reach, they are able to reach young people who may, due to economic constraints, not be offered the opportunity to develop and compete with their peers. The London Youth Games also offers sustained outcomes as those who have shown particular talents will often go on to become medal winning athletes or develop profession careers. For the reasons set out above, the GLA funding directly to the London Youth Games Founding rather than to go through a competitive application process.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The aim of the London Youth Games is to enable young Londoners to be the best athletes they can be whilst bringing people from all communities, faiths and background together in a safe, inclusive and fun environment, giving them the opportunity to interact and work with each other collaboratively.

Objectives of the £100,000 funding to London Youth Games Foundation:

• Deliver a high-quality programme of sports competitions and event days, in a safe, inclusive, fun and supportive environment, between September and July;

• Provide training and opportunities for young people from all over London to volunteer and take on leadership roles at our events and other major events (e.g. the London Marathon, Ride London, and high profile National Governing Body/International events like the World Athletics Championships, etc.) benefiting London and their communities; and

• Build a new programme called “Respect the Games” into the work of London Youth Games which promotes and rewards four key behaviours for participants – Fairness, Ambition, Inclusion, Respect.

Expected outcomes of the London Youth Games:

• Improved physical activity levels of young people across London as a result of participating in the London Youth Games.

• Improved opportunities for young people to take part in physical activity, which they may not have previously considered, or had the access to do so. London Youth Games will deliver approximately 60 event days and engaging 130,000 young people across the year. Nearly 75% of London schools are engaged with the programme overall, with the majority taking part in pathway/qualifier competitions/activity locally. Approximately 25% of participants will be from the most socially disadvantaged areas, 10% will have a disability and 50% will be female.

• Increased number of young people volunteering and taking part in social action in their local communities. The London Youth Games will engage 4,000 volunteers in total.

• Increase confidence of young people in their own abilities and improve their resilience, whilst introducing sport as an option for future aspirations and providing positive pathways.

Equality comments

Equal opportunities are enshrined with the Sport Unites programme. The London Youth Games will provide all young Londoners with opportunities to access sport and physical activities.

The London Youth Games programme brings young people together from across all of London’s communities and from every background. Games participants reflect the demographics of London, with nearly 50% female participation, over 40% of participants from a BAME background, roughly 10% with a disability and roughly 25% from the most deprived areas of London and will foster good relations between persons who share relevant protected characteristics and persons who do not. All the young people taking part come together as a team to represent their local borough community. They also participate in a fun, collaborative and inclusive environment alongside others from different all different parts of London, communities and backgrounds.

The GLA commissioned a report assessing the impact of the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships. The report is used to ensure that projects help to encourage persons, who share relevant protected characteristics as those who took part in the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships, to participate in such activities in which participation by such persons is typically disproportionately low.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues:









Full funding may not be secured, resulting in a significantly reduced reach and impact

80% of funding is already secured for the first year of delivery.  Approval of this DD would take secured funding up to 95% resulting in unaffected frontline delivery and impact.





Negative impact of London Youth Games’ receiving sponsorship from Tate & Lyle, which was historically a sugar refining business.

Tate & Lyle are no longer in the sugar refining industry, having divested its sugar business in 2012.  Additionally, Tate & Lyle do not require any naming rights, and are solely interested in engagement and volunteering opportunities for their staff team. 






There is a strong reliance on access to suitable venues at a reasonable price, in order to deliver the games at its current scale and impact.

London Youth Games continually reviews its venue strategy and has booked as many venues as possible in advance, in order to secure favourable rates.









Link to Mayoral strategies and priorities


 Support for the London Youth Game aligns with The Mayor of London’s Sport Unites programme in respect of:


  • Social integration: the event brings people from a wide range of backgrounds together from all boroughs across London;


  • Health: the event produces athletes who will be regularly participating in sport; and


  • Sporting pathways: the event has a formidable alumnus of top-class athletes/ Olympians, including Christine Uhuruogho, Rio Ferdinand, Luol Deng and Bradley Wiggins.


This decision also supports the Mayor’s manifesto commitment of “Rebuilding our Olympic Legacy, turning around the failure of the last four years, promoting and supporting sport for more people of all ages”.

Financial comments

The proposed grant funding of up to £100,000 to ‘The London Youth Games’ will be funded from the 2018-19 (£50,000), and 2019-20 (£50,000) Sport Unites budget held with the Team London and Sport Unit.

The grant award will be subject to satisfactory due diligence of ‘The London Youth Games’, and will be governed by way of a funding agreement, with all payments made on successful completion of agreed milestones.

The 2019-20 budget is indicative and still subject to the GLA’s annual budget setting.

Activity table



Delivery commences

October 2018

First major competition

November 2018

Spring 2019 season commences

November 2018

Summer 2019 season commences

May 2019

Summer finals

8 July 2019

Spring 2020 season commences

November 2019

Summer 2020 season commences

May 2020

Summer finals

July 2020

Final report submitted

September 2020