Mayor launches new £400,000 athletics funding programme

17 March 2017

- Budding athletes given chance to follow in footsteps of London 2017 stars Farah, Bolt, Cockroft and Peacock

Sadiq Khan has launched a new £400,000 fund that aims to encourage more Londoners to take part in athletics as the World Athletics Championships heads to London this summer.

The Mayor of London hopes budding athletes will be inspired by the IPC World Para Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships being staged in the capital – the first time both championships have been held in the same city in the same year. Half of the funding is being made available for disability-focused athletics in celebration of the World Para Athletics.

Sadiq wants the biggest global sporting event of 2017 to inspire generations of Londoners to become future sporting stars, and to encourage them to live healthier, more active lives through the power of elite sport.

The Mayor is clear he wants all Londoners to benefit from the capital’s status as a global leader in hosting world-class sport. That means a wider focus than the main events themselves  – and includes providing funding to encourage people to take part in athletics locally.

That means more than focusing entirely on the event – and includes providing funding to encourage people to take part in athletics-based activity while celebrating the championships with their local community.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London 2017 will be the biggest global sporting event of the year with a worldwide audience of six billion. It’s another great opportunity to showcase London to the world and demonstrates our ability to host the very best events.

“I’m delighted that the Championships will welcome the world back to the Olympic Park to create new memories, five years after the unforgettable Olympics and Paralympics of 2012.

“I’m determined we capitalise on hosting another world-class event by ensuring it brings wide benefits for Londoners. That is why I am launching this £400,000 fund to encourage Londoners to take up athletics and be inspired by world greats like Sir Mo Farah, Hannah Cockroft , Usain Bolt and Jonnie Peacock competing on our doorstep.”   

Niels de Vos, Championship Director at the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships, said: “By staging the World Para Athletics Championships and IAAF World Championships in London we hope to inspire communities across the city to get involved in whatever way possible. Through the fund we hope communities can come together and celebrate not only the Championships and athletics but each other and their backgrounds.”

Peter Fitzboydon, Chief Executive of London Sport, said: “The Mayor’s Community Athletics Fund is a fantastic opportunity for athletics groups across the capital to celebrate this summer’s Championships by giving Londoners the chance to get involved in the sport in new and exciting ways. We all know that London will be captivated by the incredible feats of the world’s best athletes and para-athletes this summer; by launching this fund, the Mayor will make it possible to turn that captivation into action and, perhaps, a lifelong passion.”

Community Athletics Fund grants are split into three tiers, with funding available of up to £4,000, between £5,000 and £20,000, and disability projects up to £10,000. Successful bidders must deliver activity between 30 June and 31 December. 

Not-for-profit organisations can apply and applications will be accepted from local authorities, schools and social enterprises.

To ensure as many Londoners get the opportunity to see world-class sport in their city, the Mayor has helped secure schools tickets for London schools to watch the World Para Athletics at a discounted price of £3, as well as arrange free transport on the Transport for London network to get to the Championships. So far more than 90,000 young Londoners have signed up to take advantage of this offer from more than 1,000 schools stretching across every borough in London.

- Ends -

Notes to editors

To apply for funding, follow the link here:

Applications are open from 12pm today (Friday 17 March).

The Community Athletics Fund is part of ‘Team Personal Best’ – one element to the London 2017 Inspiration Programme, which is being delivered in partnership with England Athletics, UK Athletics, Sport England, UK Sport and The Spirit of 2012 Trust.

Team Personal Best aims to harness the interest and excitement of the two Championships.


Projects are invited to apply for three different tiers of funding:

  • Tier 1 – up to £4,000 – 12 hours of free athletics-based sessions over 6 weeks
  • Tier 2 – up to £20,000 – 80 hours of free athletics for at least 10 weeks
  • Tier 3 (disability-focused) – up to £10,000 – 12 hours of athletics over 6 weeks


  • Up to 25 per cent of the grant can be spent on hosting a community event, used to bring people together from all parts of the community and celebrate the World Championships.


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