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Sports Think Tank - Blog

"A sports think tank would be a great legacy from the 2012 games, enabling future generations to benefit from long term, well researched, and evidence-based sports policy making in the UK" Seb Coe

Sports Think Tank

Sports Think Tank

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Where is the Unity in Grass-Roots Sport? (Part 2)

Posted: Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:09

Where is the Unity in Grass-Roots Sport? (Part 2)

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 »

Tags: Sport, Sport for development, school sport, community sport, Local Government, sport england, development, Policy

Where is the Unity in Grass-Roots Sport? (Part 1)

Posted: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:44

Where is the Unity in Grass-Roots Sport? (Part 1)

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 »

Tags: Sport, community sport, Sport and Development, school sport, sport england

National Children's Football Week

Posted: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 23:14

National Children's Football Week

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 »

Tags: Sport, Sport for development, community sport, school sport

Disruptive Sports Technology

Posted: Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:20

Disruptive Sports Technology

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 »

Tags: Sport, Local Government, community sport

As Glasgow's Commonwealth Games approaches, only 28% of UK adults are active in sport

Posted: Sat, 07 Jun 2014 07:48

As Glasgow's Commonwealth Games approaches, only 28% of UK adults are active in sport

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 »

Tags: Sport, Legacy, Olympics, Commonwealth Games

Tackling physical inactivity in our local communities

Posted: Fri, 23 May 2014 09:44

Tackling physical inactivity in our local communities

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 »

Tags: Sport, Legacy, Local Government, community sport, Sport for development

Does the Current State of Play Demand a New Approach to Ownership and Funding?

Posted: Thu, 15 May 2014 10:27

Does the Current State of Play Demand a New Approach to Ownership and Funding?

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 »

Tags: Sport, Sport for development, Local Government, community sport

Local Area Cuts and their Impact on Sport and Physical Activity

Posted: Thu, 08 May 2014 08:10

Local Area Cuts and their Impact on Sport and Physical Activity

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 »

Tags: Local Government, Sport for development, Sport, Legacy

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

Major Sporting Events: Why are we so keen to host them and do they bring the benefits we’re led to believe? Part 2

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 »

Tags: Sport, London 2012, Legacy, Olympics, Sport for development, Olympic legacy

Sport in Schools: Competition versus No Competition

Posted: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:51

Sport in Schools: Competition versus No Competition

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 »

Tags: school sport, PE