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Government Launches Sports Strategy

Posted: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 10:28

Government Launches Sports Strategy

The Government formally launched its sports strategy today - "A New Strategy for an Active Nation."

We had the chance to read through the entire document in the last 24 hours and to reflect on many of the things we were looking forward to seeing after the publication of our own survey findings about what the sector wanted to see with 'fresh thinking'

We will publish a series of responses to each of the sections of the Strategy but at this stage we are keen to hear from you! We are monitoring your responses on Twitter and social media and will start a few discussions via our LinkedIn pages.

We have welcomed the overall thrust of the changes we have seen although of course the strategy does now ask a lot of Sport England & UKSport and other agencies to develop further thinking in terms of the details.

We have known for some time that there would be a greater emphasis on finding new partners to deliver elements of the strategy beyond the current NGB led WSPlans. This does not mean the end for NGBs and only 40% of the current £300m lottery spend goes for NGBs in WSPs. It will mean of course a massive shift in emphasis for NGBs who have been hammered on just getting more people Into their sports.

We like the change in emphasis away from the simplistic measure of APS participation to understanding the wider social impacts of sport. We like the greater emphasis on targeting & rewarding tackling issues of under represented groups rather than more sport for the worried well. We have been aware that the change in emphasis is reflected in the five key areas:

Physical wellbeing
Mental wellbeing
Individual Development
Social and community development
Economic Development.

We have long argued these things are delivered by sport and we look forward to seeing how sport will be rewarded by Sport England for delivering these new targets and outcomes.

Other key issues that require further thought and reflection.

Moving Sport England to include children from the age of 5 outside of school
A series of new KPIs and diminishing the role of APS (although the new survey will exist in a new format)
Whilst it is good to see the recognition of Local Government and local delivery the size of public spending cuts and Public Health cuts is for obvious reasons not addressed in a government strategy!
The concept of national lottery distribution being refocused will be interesting to see... And the details will be fascinating.
We like the review of CSPs give the the current changes in the local government landscape.
Of course we welcome a renewed Volunteer strategy - as the world and nature of volunteering changes - again we look forward to further details.
We have been big advocates of Tech and open data so we are happy to see this recognised. However, we worry that innovation may be hindered by too much 'management' from Sport England and we will continually push for genuine innovation and the sector to be much more open to disruptors!
Of course we welcome the wider definition of sport and physical activity and a greater emphasis on a seamless journey from inactivity to PA and perhaps sport.
There is a great deal still to be learned by the sector and health providers about the role of PA...

I would say we are slightly underwhelmed byt the Young people work in schools. Of course there are improvements in how the Primary Permium is spent but work needs to be done to widen the impact and there is a worrying lack of understanding about the mini crisis now taking place at KS4 PE and school sport. School sport and physically active schools are being sacrificed for Maths Englisha and STEM...

The issue of school swimming needs addressing - and this is recognised. It is good to see the ASA research and campaign has had an impact.

The role of the Sectors workforce is addressed by recognising the role of CIMSPA. There is still much to do with the new Institute but we hope everybody now recognises we have to improve the training and development of our poeple in the sector.

There are a series of smaller but significant issues around Broadcasting, Listed events, TV Rights and Voluntary code. The explicit support for Team GB and medals at forthcoming Olympic & Paralympic sports was trailed by the funding decisions in the CSR last month. The government values the medals and feel god factor they generate.

The section from the Treasury is obviously light on new funding streams but we do welcome the idea of the Sport Impact Fund (being heavily promoted by myself) and the creation of more funding options like SIBs

Overall the document makes a lot of sense and the direction of travel is something most of us can buy into. There are lots of areas where further details in the new Sport England Strategy will determine how this all plays out when it is fully being delivered in 2017.

But more importantly at this stage what do you think?

Tags: Sports strategy, Tracey crouch

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