Case 1: an organisation’s activities did not promote public participation in sport
An organisation linked to a professional football club applied to become a charity with the ‘advancement of public participation in sport’ as its purpose. Two broad areas of activity were proposed:
- to work within the community through football coaching in schools and in coaching camps, and
- youth development work in under-13 and under-19 year old youth teams.
The participation in the youth teams was based on ability, subject to a contract with the professional football club, and only available to male players.
We decided that participation was not available to the public at large and we refused the application to become a charity.
Other examples of organisations which have applied for charitable status under this purpose but which have not satisfied the public participation requirement include:
- an organisation established solely to support alpine ski racers to represent Scotland or Great Britain
- an organisation established to provide funding for a Karate squad to attend international Karate competitions within the UK and abroad
- an organisation for a synchronised skating team where the minimum skill level required for participants was a high standard, requiring months or in some cases years of coaching.
Case 2: an organisation provided evidence that Yoga is a sport as defined by the 2005 Act
An organisation that promotes yoga applied to become a charity under this purpose.
Yoga is not universally accepted as a sport. However, the applicant submitted independent evidence that participation involves physical skill and exertion. They also advised us that Sport England recognises yoga as a sport, with the British Wheel of Yoga as the governing body.
We decided that the evidence supplied showed that yoga comes under the description of a sport in the 2005 Act. The application to become a charity was successful with the advancement of public participation in sport as one of the charitable purposes.
Case 3: an organisation demonstrated how its activities encouraged public participation
An organisation, which delivers a ‘Try Rugby’ community programme to all school children in a local area, applied to become a charity.
We had to decide if the organisation encouraged participation on an equal and inclusive basis. They told us that they organise ‘taster sessions’ for primary school children, interschool rugby festivals and weekly activities during the curriculum for all secondary pupils. For those wishing to participate more often, the organisation provides additional supervised sessions, mentoring and personal skills development.
The application to become a charity was successful.