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Arts & Culture

Strategic partnerships add strength to community sport revolution

A grassroots sport service is using mutually beneficial collaborations to have a positive impact on communities across the UK.

GiveToLocal is working alongside national governing bodies in multiple sports, charities and 12 regional football associations to create further opportunities for communities hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

Colin Stromsoy, director of strategic partnerships, explained: “Our aim has always been to play an active and positive role in the development of grassroots and community sport and to do this in partnership with other key organisations.

“The impact we can have by working collaboratively can be so much more effective than by working in isolation. Both ourselves and our partner organisations can benefit from mutual expertise and shared networks.”

Colin is currently working on a national campaign with GiveToLocal partner charity Tennis For Free (TFF).

The campaign will kickstart community tennis following a summer of COVID-19 disruption.

High profile supporters of the charity, including Stephen Fry, Hugh Grant, Pat Cash and Judy Murray, are backing a partnership focused on getting children back onto courts at the earliest opportunity.

Television personality Stephen Fry, a keen fan of tennis and a regular at Wimbledon, said: “As a patron of Tennis For Free I want everyone to be able to play tennis, have fun and not worry about how they are going to pay for it.

“Too many of our park courts remain closed but we can get them open again.

“To do that, together with GiveToLocal, we’re launching a campaign where every pound is focused on getting sites up and running again.”

Colin echoes Stephen’s belief that GiveToLocal’s partnership with TFF can make a tangible difference and believes the new relationship is perfectly aligned with the former’s key aims of backing sport and building networks.

“We’ve been able to provide TFF with a solution that enables them to appeal to individuals and businesses on a local level in the areas where they have courts,” he said.

“We’ve also worked with them to create a national fundraising campaign which aims to raise enough money to re-open all of their sites across the country.

“It’s fantastic to see the technology and service that the team at GiveToLocal has developed used in such a positive way.

“Alongside TFF we’re helping people to get back out there, reconnect with their sport and enjoy a degree of much-missed social interaction.”

Colin is adamant that working alongside partner organisations to support community sport is the way forward at a time when an alternative approach and fresh impetus is required.

Tighter restrictions on indoor sport and a renewed focus on social distancing have impacted negatively on many of GiveToLocal’s 50,000-plus teams across 15 sports.

And Colin sees strategic partnerships as a key cog in the wheel of an organisation which continues to attract significant corporate support and the backing of big-name athlete influencers as it seeks to generate an additional £10 million a year for community sport.

“We’ve seen during the past year how the service that GiveToLocal provides can be truly transformational for so many sports clubs and organisations,” he adds.

“Where we’ve had the biggest impact is where we have worked in partnership to ensure as many individuals, clubs and businesses are aware of GiveToLocal and can benefit from it in a sustainable way.

“Our partner organisations trust in what we do and trust in sport’s power to do good. Together we’re perfectly positioned to enable positive change.”

Colin, who also manages community football club Newton Aycliffe in the first division of the Northern League, is keen to align more like-minded strategic partners to GiveToLocal at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is threatening the very fabric of grassroots sport.

“This is, without doubt, the toughest period in history for any organisation involved in sport from community to national level,” he adds.

“It’s therefore incumbent on all of us at GiveToLocal to ensure that as many organisations as possible can benefit from the services we provide.

“Thankfully we have a fantastic team that is highly motivated, and we take huge satisfaction from seeing the positive outcomes our service helps to provide.

“The demand for GiveToLocal across all the different areas we work in is huge. However, the team is rising to the challenge as we know we can make such a positive difference.”

Would your organisation benefit from a strategic partnership with GiveToLocal? Email Colin Stromsoy at [email protected] or visit