General Election 2017: Putting sport and recreation at the heart of an active nation

Manifesto for Sport and Recreation ()

The Prime Minister’s decision to call a snap General Election on 8 June caught many by surprise but the campaign is now well underway.

With just five weeks to go until the election, the Sport and Recreation Alliance is today launching its election manifesto to make the case to a future Government of the importance of sport and recreation and demonstrate why it needs to be at the heart of any political agenda.

Sport and recreation provides the best preventative solution to many of the critical public policy challenges the country faces – including obesity, social exclusion and physical and mental ill-health. Sport also plays a much wider role in terms of the economic contribution it makes and the benefits it brings to society – which is why it must be a key policy tool for any incoming Government.

Further, with Brexit dominating the political agenda, it is important that the voice of sport and recreation is heard as the process unfolds and is not lost within the debate. The UK has built a reputation for attracting the best sporting talent from across the world and for successfully hosting major international sporting events and we want this to continue after the Brexit process has concluded.

Looking ahead to the next Parliament, we urge the future Government to build on Sporting Future and take a genuinely joined-up approach to ensure that policy decisions and funding are coordinated across Government.

The election presents a unique opportunity for sport and recreation to help shape the policy agenda and our manifesto sets out key recommendations for the next Government to take forward. You can read our full manifesto here and our central asks include:

  • Publish an environment plan to protect natural assets and public rights of way for people to be active outdoors;
  • Commit resources to support the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation;
  • Introduce a workplace entitlement for paid volunteering;
  • Prioritise sport volunteering to encourage people, particularly young people, to join in;
  • Establish parity between academic and physical literacy in schools;
  • Continue investment in sport and physical activity in schools;
  • Establish a sports betting levy to invest in grassroots sport and recreation;
  • Require the creation of up-to-date local registers of parks, green spaces and community facilities to make it easier for people to get active.

All parties will play a pivotal role in making sure the sector’s voice is represented and advocated. We look forward to working with politicians, our members and wider stakeholders, to make sure that sport and recreation remains at the heart of an active nation.