6 projects using sports to break down barriers


Do you know the true power of sports? From captivating the attention of entire countries during the Olympics, to supporting refugees to create new relationships, sports is known as a powerful way to bring people together. Some of the best community investment projects stem from sports, and we’re exploring 6 projects that are already breaking down barriers with their local communities.

Grassroots sports clubs are essential in the community as they provide a big range of activities to fit many backgrounds and abilities. More than just supporting people to get into sports, they are a tool for social impact, reaching people from all walks of lives. Most community investment projects are going above and beyond now to try to create inclusive, accessible and safe community spaces for everyone to benefit from the effect of sports, both physically and mentally.

But many across the country are struggling and still feeling the effects of covid. Sported reported that “The biggest challenge facing groups is immediate and continued funding needs with groups struggling to cover costs accrued throughout 2020.” It was reported in 2021 that 25% of grassroots sports clubs would not open their doors again in 2022.

What can we do to help community investment projects survive? Well, first of all we need to make sure that more sports clubs can access grant funding in a way that is easy and inclusive.

With news of Greene King distributing over £160,000 to grassroots sports clubs and community investment projects through the Proud to Pitch In campaign, hundreds of brilliant projects pitches have been pouring onto ActionFunder, looking for support.

All the great projects below, are actively seeking funding. Read on to see how they’re using sports to strengthen their communities. If you’re interested in supporting them, find out more here.

a team of footballer are playing with a sunset at the back
Barnet Asylum Football Team project, funded on ActionFunder
Inclusive Intergenerational Yoga and Zumba classes

Education and skills development group is a female-led BAMER (BAME and refugee)-led grassroots charity serving disadvantaged groups in Northolt and Southall, London.

The charity is using yoga and zumba classes to support their local community.
Young women are encouraged to attend with other female family members to form new bonds, improve their mental and physical health while reducing isolation!

Community and Vulnerable people Crossfit classes

Ignite Life is a Bristol based charity supporting vulnerable and at-risk young people and their families.
The club has developed inclusive and accessible crossfit classes to reach people from lower social and economic backgrounds and offer them a chance to get more physical activities.

The sessions can be tailored to very small groups to fit people with mental health issues. They hope that funding will allow them to expand their reach and keep breaking barriers for people to stay in good mental and physical health through sports.

a group of women wearing sports clothes are gathered looking at the camera and smiling
Grass Routes Trail Running and Outdoor Fitness CIC, currently seeking funding
Running for all 

Grass routes believes that trail running should be accessible to as many people as people. Based in Hastings, a city ranking as the 13th most deprived of all the local authorities in England, the club is determined to not let practical and socio-cultural barriers discourage local people to join the club. With funding, they are looking to provide free and low cost sessions, acquire better equipment and support low income athletes with appropriate kit.

Sport for change 

London Excelsior sports club is on a mission to increase the participation in sports of the local BAME community. With funding, they hope to develop  weekly sports and recreational sessions for people aged 18 to 49 in East London. Through a wide range of activities, people are encouraged to get active, helping them to manage stress and anxiety.

in a gymnasium a groups of people with physical disabilities are playing football in powerchairs
Nottinghamshire Powerchair Football Club, currently seeking funding
Nottinghamshire Powerchair Football Club

Nottinghamshire Powerchair Football Club isn’t your typical local football club. Football is perhaps one of the most played and accessible sports. And as it turns out, powerchair football is the only sport available for individuals without upper body strength. But the specially engineered powerchairs are costly and the club is looking for funding to purchase new ones to help their 20 members play more and improve!

Over 60 walking football

Who said you had to be 20 and fit to be a fantastic football player?! Not Enjoy football CIC that’s sure. With their over 60 walking football sessions, the club is aiming to support local retired men in their journey to better mental and physical health. The players also get the opportunity to meet new people and reduce the feeling of isolation.


This is only a few of the many brilliant community investment projects currently looking for support on ActionFunder, and tons more are being added every week.

Is your business keen to make a real impact? With the ActionFunder you can donate direct to local charities and community groups taking meaningful action..
On ActionFunder, funders can come in all sizes and shapes. From individual grants of £500 to chunkier ones of £5,000, your contribution to the grassroots sports scene is essential. If you want to make change happen today, find out more about becoming a funder.

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