EMD UK awarded Sport England funding for healthier communities through group exercise

We are excited to announce that EMD UK is among a group of organisations partnering with Sport England to level up access to physical activity across the country. As part of this partnership EMD UK will receive £5m of funding over five years from Sport England to co-deliver the ambitious Uniting the Movement strategy.

As the national governing body for group exercise, EMD UK supports instructors to be the best they can be. This funding will be used to ensure instructors have the tools and skills required to do their job to the best of their ability.

Working with sector partners and field experts, EMD UK will continue to lead the industry in research and insight. Gathering much needed information from across the nation, EMD UK will be able to provide more help, support, and advice to activity providers, and ensure that group exercise continues to inspire people of all ages and abilities to take part in physical activity.

Marcus Kingwell CEO, EMD UK states:

“I’m delighted that EMD UK has received this support from Sport England for the next five years. It’s a big vote of confidence in our ability to deliver and in the power of group exercise to create healthier communities.

But accepting the funding means we need to step up and accept our responsibilities to Uniting the Movement by working differently. We’ve created a new strategy for the next five years which focuses on supporting instructors to be the best they can be by providing leadership, influencing the sector, collaborating with partners and tackling inequalities. We will also work closely with CIMSPA and UK Coaching to create a high-quality, empowered workforce through appropriate governance and regulation.

We’ve made a lot of changes internally to make this happen, removing services which put us competition with others and adding capacity for insight, solving problems and sharing good practice. These are exciting times and we’re ready to go!”

The new EMD UK strategy offers some exciting opportunities for the next five years and coupled with the funding announced today puts EMD UK in a strong position to deliver on our vision of healthier communities through group exercise.

As part of this strategy, we have moved away from offering competing services and will focus our time and resource on areas which better advocate for group exercises instructors in the sector.  As part of this decision, we have made two major changes: firstly to stop running the classfinder search engine and to stop directly providing Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications.

The removal of these two major services allows us to refocus our attention on working with all of our partners in the sector on a number of issues, including continuing our work with PRS on music licensing, continuing to work with government on COVID-19 recovery for the sector and continuing to provide career boosting resources to help group exercise instructors. We will also be increasing our focus on providing insight to the sector and we will be using this insight to improve on our work ensuring that group exercise, and exercise in general are open and accessible to people of all back grounds.

This is the start of an exciting period for EMD UK, Sport England, and the sector as whole. This continued partnership and the funding it brings demonstrates the importance group exercise holds in the sector and the potential impact it can have on improving the health of the nation. We are excited to continue working with the sector over this exciting period.

We will be posting up some further information on our strategy and what it means for you over the five years so keep your eye out.