Inspired by 2012


Olympic park

In June 2011, the Foundation launched its Coaches for Clubs campaign which has received the Inspire mark from London 2012.

The Coaches for Clubs campaign sees the Foundation team up with school and sports clubs across the North East to inspire people to become volunteers, coaches and officials in the communities that need them most.

The Inspire mark is an entirely new programme, something that no previous Olympic Games or Paralympic Games has done and shows how the Sports Foundation is working to provide the North East with an Olympic legacy.  Tony Blair, Patron of The Foundation said:

"What we’re working on at the Foundation is ensuring that there is a sporting legacy for the North East from the games. The Olympics is going to be the biggest focus for sport in the whole world for 2012, and that shouldn’t just be about the top-level athletes; it's also got to be about grassroots sports, and the key to grassroots sports are volunteers and coaches.”  

The Tony Blair Sports Foundation’s campaign works by sports clubs and community groups that need more volunteer coaches and officials signing up to The Foundation through the Coaches for Clubs scheme.  Through a partnership work plan approach The Foundation then assists these organisations in the recruitment of volunteers directly through the community.  These new volunteers will then be offered a placement in a club or community group where a need for them has been identified, meaning that more children get access to sport.  Volunteers are recruited from local businesses, schools and Further Education establishments and also through The Foundation’s existing contacts with sports clubs and its member database.  This joined up approach means that local clubs will benefit from having direct community links through their volunteers, and will also gain from being able to increase the provision of sport for local children and young people.

By having more volunteers placed within sports clubs and schools and supporting them to gain coaching, leadership and officiating qualifications, The Tony Blair Sports Foundation is working to increase the levels of sports participation across the North East of England.  These qualified individuals make a huge impact upon participation levels, as Judith Rasmussen, Strategic Lead for Sport England comments:

“Great coaches play a vital role in bringing more new participants into sport giving everyone a fun and fulfilling experience that will keep them coming back for more. The Tony Blair Sports Foundation’s project is fantastic news for sport in the North East and for the local communities who will benefit from more local sporting opportunities.”

To date The Foundation has worked with many sports clubs across the North East.  These include Tyne Bridge Harriers, Cramlington United Football Club, Lanchester Lawn Tennis Club, Durham Wildcats and Sunderland Clarion Cycling Club.  Our work as part of this campaign has also led us to collaborate with more than 50 schools across the region, where hundreds of young people have gained qualifications which include Tennis Competition Organiser, Tennis Young Leader, Basketball Activator, Cricket Competition Organiser and Cricket Young Leader awards.  With their qualifications, these young people have been able to go on and officiate at regional tennis and cricket competitions for school children, where they can support and inspire more young people to participate in sport. 


If you would like to know more about our Coaches for Clubs campaign, please contact us by emailing