Access Sport celebrates our 20th Anniversary in 2024. This milestone marks two decades of making inclusion the norm in community sport.

Thank you to all of our supporters and partners who have supported us along the way. 

We’ve changed and grown over the last 20 years, but our core focus has remained the same: helping communities access the transformational benefits of inclusive sport.

How it all began

Formed in 2004, we have grown organically over time. According to legend, our founding vision of providing all young people with “access to sport” was written on a napkin and now, after 20 years, we have worked across multiple locations and sports, formed exciting partnerships, established a reputation as a highly respected leader in the field of sport for development and delivered sustainable change.

Sport marketer Charlie Beauchamp founded the charity in 2004 with the help of former England Rugby players Phil de Glanville and Jon Callard. Their goal was to encourage grass-roots youth participation in sport through the existing network of clubs, in partnership with major corporations wanting to invest in community sport. The focus was to help the country’s coaches and volunteers grow participation by selecting clubs that were passionate about inclusion.

Charlie Beauchamp, our Founder, said:

"I benefitted so much from what sport gave me. With that personal experience then married to the various growing societal issues, such as broken families and one-parent families, particularly in inner city areas, I saw that community sport clubs could provide a real alternative to drugs, gangs and knives"

Our journey was kickstarted by a partnership with healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline and our first high-profile ambassadors included James Cracknell, David James, Steph Cook and Danny Grewcock. 

Back in 2004, our network was made up of 10 community clubs from across the country. True to our current approach we worked in a range of places and across a variety of sports, including Polzeath’s Surfs Up Surf Club, High Wycombe Hockey Club, Stoke RFC and Lee Valley Cycling Club.

Where we are now

Since 2004, we have come a long way. In the last year we have launched our Stand for Inclusion strategy, a new brand identity and delivered our vital work to over 15,000 children and young people. 

Working with our volunteers, supporters, ambassadors, and national partners including Sport England and National Governing Bodies, we have been able to extend our reach to more underserved young people than ever before.

We have also expanded our network of partnerships and now regularly collaborate with the likes of the London Marathon Foundation, Nuffield Health, and Columbia Threadneedle Investments. All of these partners passionately believe in our purpose and without their support none of our work would be possible. 

Helen Rowbotham, our Chief Executive, said:

"We are so excited to celebrate our 20th Anniversary this year. Looking back on the last 20 years you can see that delivering a positive impact on individuals, communities and sport systems has always been our core goal. Going forward, we will continue to deliver on this objective and strive toward our growth targets. We remain as committed as ever to making inclusion the norm in community sport and look forward to working with our amazing network of partners to extend our reach even further.”

Where we are going…

We have made lasting, impactful change over the last 20 years transforming inclusion in sport for children and young people across the UK.

Going forward we are looking to work with organisations who want to stand for inclusion with us, including clubs, partners and national governing bodies who share our commitment to community sport.

By supporting us, you are championing tangible change aimed at improving inclusion across all community sport. We want to work with people and organisations that share our passion. Whether you want to find out more, fundraise, or partner with us, please get in touch. With your help, we can ensure that all young people have access to the transformational benefits of sport.

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Find out more about how you can support us below.
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