ReTrain to Retain: 25,000 sport and physical activity professionals set to benefit from new job retention and support package

Fitness Instructor and Physical Activity

  • Wide ranging support for self-employed professionals, micro-businesses and employers
  • Part of Sport England's Year 1 implementation of the Uniting the Movement strategy

As part of the one year implementation plan of its Uniting the Movement strategy, Sport England has confirmed a plan to invest £5m of National Lottery money in a new and unique job retention and support package for sports and physical activity professionals.

The ReTrain to Retain programme will provide tools, training and services to enable sector professionals to return to work safely and with confidence, providing opportunities for participation to return to pre-pandemic levels.

ReTrain to Retain will be delivered by CIMSPA (the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) alongside a consortium of partners including UK Coaching and EMD UK. It will be designed to support up to 25,000 sports and fitness coaches who have had to find work outside the sector during the coronavirus pandemic and will prioritise those working in areas of economic deprivation or supporting under-represented groups.

The programme will aim to greatly reduce or eradicate many of the costs associated with restarting work for up to 5,000 self-employed professionals and micro-businesses. It will support unemployed individuals with access to training and skills, provide funding for professional accreditations and insurance, along with access to a wide range of additional resources.

The project consortium will work closely with more than 500 sector employers, enabling them to address skills shortages and funding the costs of essential training.

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, said:

“ReTrain to Retain will be a major boost to the sport and physical activity workforce, enabling many thousands of professionals to stay in, or return to, the sector. From sports coaches to personal trainers, swimming teachers and group exercise instructors, this workforce has a vital role in keeping the nation physically and mentally healthy as we emerge from Covid-19, and I am delighted that we are able to provide this service with support from Sport England."

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

"“While it’s been fantastic to see people embrace the return and reopening of sport and physical activity, we must ensure that the sports and fitness professionals who make so much of that happen are supported in every way possible. It has been an extremely tough year for this part of our workforce, and I am delighted we’re able to confirm this investment and this programme as part of our ongoing Covid-19 recovery work."

Full details of the ReTrain to Retain programme, along with information on how to apply for support, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.


The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity

CIMSPA’s work enhances the career opportunities and professional development of the workforce operating in sport, fitness, exercise, leisure, gyms, coaching, outdoor exercise, health and wellbeing. We achieve this through sector-wide engagement, membership, networking, events, directories and professional standards.


Incorporated by Royal Charter Charity registration number 1144545

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