Posted: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:09
In the second part of this Blog I offer a further five problem and solutions that policy makers and the sector need to address to greater unity in the grassroots sports industry.
6. Sports bodies are not focusing enough on grassroots: Sports bodies set the tone in grassroots sports and typically favour elite sports performance over grassroots. Presumably this is because any successes are splashed across the newspapers. Who doesn't enjoy positive PR? Nowhere is this more apparent than in football and tennis that.. Read More »
Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:44
Since launching OpenPlay, a platform that connects sports facilities to their users, I have had the opportunity to meet an enormous range of stakeholders in the grassroots sports industry. Examples include school lettings officers, sports coaches, sports development officers, sports bodies, fitness software providers, leisure consultants, MPs and local community groups. I'm not sure there is a comparable industry with such an eclectic mix of stakeholders.
However, one over-arching thing has struck me. There is.. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 23:14
With the World Cup in progress in Brazil it is a fitting time to reflect on why football is such a popular game. Although football is now a billion-pound industry awash with money, the real reason why it is the "world game" is that it is so very easy to organise and play. And it is free. All you need is some players, something for a ball and makeshift goals. What you see at the World Cup final is essentially the same as what's played in a backstreet in Ghana.
The theme this year is "Football & Peace" during.. Read More »
Posted: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:20
Across the world, former fitness agencies are all morphing into something hopefully 'Active'. Ireland and Europe are the latest two (formerly ILAM and EHFA) who are now Ireland Active and Europe Active following the Fitness Industry Association morph into ukactive last year. Listening to St Mathew's Passion over Easter made me wonder if the global fitness industry, as it is, has the passion to change and grow the market. Perhaps too many organisations are keen to change their name to follow 'best practice' or.. Read More »
Posted: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 07:48
As Glasgow's Commonwealth Games approaches, only 28% of UK adults are active in sport
Another survey was released this week ahead of the Commonwealth Games showing the low level of sports participation. This time Why Research showed only 28 of adults were taking part once a fortnight. The latest Active People Survey figures will be released this week again showing how difficult it has been to shift the dial and get millions of people to actively take up a regular sport.
The findings and press release from Why.. Read More »
Posted: Fri, 23 May 2014 09:44
We're facing a crisis of inactivity amongst our young people in the UK. Over 4.5 million 11 – 25 year olds in England do not achieve the Chief Medical Officer's recommended levels of physical activity. Local authorities are the tier of government that is best placed to make a real difference to the inactivity time bomb.
In April, StreetGames published a report with the Centre for Economics and Business Research which concluded that inactivity will cost the UK economy £53billion over the lifetimes.. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 15 May 2014 10:27
As described in the most recent post on the Sports Think Tank website, public facilities have suffered from cuts in local authorities' subsidies and spending. With last week's warning from the Local Government Association of deeper cuts over the next two years, as councils struggle to find another £20 billion, the impact of austerity on grassroots sport and physical activity raises wider questions concerning the funding of local sports pitches and facilities and, in a wider context, the future of finances.. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 08:10
Numerous recent items in local news from all over the UK have reported on councils cutting funding for leisure services. Local authorities in Wales are a prime example. With high levels of obesity (57% of adults overweight or obese in the 2012 Welsh Health Survey), leading experts warn that leisure provision must be maintained to address the urgent problem, due to the well-established link between obesity and sedentary lifestyles. A report by a Welsh assembly committee records deep concern for the cuts in leisure.. Read More »
Major Sporting Events: Why are we so keen to host them and do they bring the benefits we’re led to believe? Part 2
Posted: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:59
A recent Commonwealth Games evaluation report produced by the Scottish government found that preparation for the games has boosted Scotland's economy by £52m each year and that £257m worth of contracts relating to the Games have been won by Scottish companies. Encouraging figures, but are they significant numbers when considering the wider and longer-term economic impact of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games? Recalling the words of Georgios Kavetsos and Stefan Szymanski, it's worth remembering that the.. Read More »
Posted: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:51
The debate around competition in junior sport and physical education rears its head every now and again, the most recent exchange having started some weeks ago when Surrey Rugby removed score-keeping from matches for 6-11 year-olds.
It's good that schools, clubs, their teachers and coaches are heeding the responses of children and curbing competition in order to get and keep children involved. As we know from the MCC/Chance to Shine report, 64% of 8-16 years-olds questioned said they would be 'relieved' or 'not.. Read More »