Launched in 2011, the Sports Think Tank is an independent think tank dedicated to thorough and insightful thinking around sporting policy in the UK.
Based in London and Loughborough, we aim to stimulate debate, challenge and create new solutions based on practical knowledge and evidence to help develop the sport sector for the future. We want to push the boundaries of sports policy to ensure it is able to meet the ever rapidly changing demands placed on it for the benefit of society, whether as consumers or as participants. By challenging current thinking we can create the best policy environment for sport and physical activity to flourish across the UK.
We are committed to the following objectives:
- Pushing the boundaries of thinking in sport: Deconstructing sport to properly assess the 'case for sport' in society. To access why sport is so important to us in our daily lives and provide the evidence for the way the sector does the things it does. We want to ask questions that challenge the status quo, and widen and deepen sport's influence for social good.
- Bridging the gap between the best academic research and policy makers: There is a growing movement of innovative academic research into sport and its influence on society. We want to ensure that there is strong understanding of the current public policy environment and that any relevant research is in an accessible format so it can play a significant role in innovative policy-making in Whitehall. That it also gets wider understanding within the sports and recreation sector including amongst national governing bodies, sports organisations, brands and sponsors.
- Bringing together different sectors to ensure sport's contribution to social good is as effective as possible: The wider sports, physical activity and recreation sector landscape is vast and reaches into many different sectors. We want to bring together the commercial, business, public, non-profit and academic sectors to learn from and challenge each other, and so all involved in sport can have an equal say at setting the agenda.
- Understanding and providing innovative solutions to the greatest challenges facing sport: Through challenging and engaging with policy makers and opinion formers, we aim to ensure all parts of the sporting landscape have the tools to challenge themselves as well as be part of the long term policy formulation process. We will use links to other social sciences and new thinking to push the boundaries of thinking.
- Building on what has gone before us: The Sports Think Tank was founded as a part of the legacy of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. We look to ensure that our work is based on the evidence from previous reports, whilst keeping policy makers accountable to their current strategies such as Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation. We want to ensure that rigorous thought is given to steps that need to be taken to secure the objectives whilst thinking 10, 15 and even 20 years ahead.