Table Tennis England is playing a central role in a new organisation which promotes the impact of National Governing Bodies on the sporting landscape.

The CEO Forum is made up of 39 sports, including table tennis, and will be an independent voice to ‘bang the drum’ for sport and help to influence national and local policies.

The Forum is launched today alongside a document entitled State of Play, which shows clear evidence of the impact of National Governing Bodies (NGBs) in raising and maintaining sports participation rates.

Furthermore, it shows that NGBs play an essential role on the world stage, helping to produce elite athletes and influencing decision-making by international federations.

State of Play also champions the work carried out by an army of almost two million volunteers, who together contribute a staggering £4.9 billion worth of time to enable people to play sport.

The figures are the result of research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University Sport Industry Research Centre, led by Professor Simon Shibli.

Among the highlights of State of Play are:

  • More than 1.8 million people belong to sports clubs – over a million more than belong to a political party.
  • There are more than 1.9 million NGB-linked volunteers – more than the entire NHS workforce
  • More than 50,000 NGB affiliated clubs exist in England
  • Almost three million competitions took place in England in 2014
  • 317 major events were hosted in England
  • 9.3 million people did at least 30 minutes of sport every week
  • 169 positions were held in international sports administration
Graphic showing the influence of National Governing Bodies

Table Tennis England Chief Executive Sara Sutcliffe, who is on the Forum’s Steering Group, said: “State of Play offers irrefutable evidence of the importance of NGBs in creating a sustainable model for sport participation.

“It also shows the debt of gratitude owed by all sports to the fantastic volunteers who do so much to make sport happen. Their passion and commitment is an inspiration and is a significant factor enabling NGBs to reach out into communities and deliver sport to millions of people.

“The Forum launch gives us a chance to say a huge thank you to them, but also to enable NGBs to speak with one voice, influence politicians and raise awareness among the public of the impact of our work and the link between sport and wider health and community priorities.”

The Forum is chaired by Adrian Christy, CEO of Badminton England, who added: “Over the past decade NGBs have been transformed with the injection of Government and National Lottery money and a much more professional and focused approach that has seen almost 1 million more people play sport at least once a week over the last decade.

“With two months to go until the General Election, the CEO Forum is committed to working constructively with a new Government to ensure that the systems for elite and community sport deliver on their objectives.

“We also want to ensure that NGBs remain at the heart of the sports system and that NGB funding is maintained to enable us to build on the significant progress achieved over the last decade.

“In addition, we are calling for an overall vision for sport that aligns central and local Government with NGBs and stakeholders in the sporting landscape enabling a seamless system from school and community sport through to the podium.”

Professor Shibli said: “Our research demonstrates the huge impact NGBs are making in the delivery of sport in England at community and elite level, and their growing influence in international sports administration.

“The fact that over one million more people belong to sports clubs than the combined total of all UK political party membership says much about how much sport matters to the wider population.

“It is also interesting to see the huge scale of sports volunteering in England with over 1.9 million NGB linked volunteers, which is greater than the entire NHS workforce.  Their financial contribution was worth almost £5 billion in 2014 with sport being the second largest volunteer sector behind caring for family and friends. “

Click here to read the State of Play document

Paul Stimpson
March 10, 2015