May policy update
1. Active people
Sport England and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) are reviewing how they measure participation in sport via their Active People and Taking Part surveys.
Their main proposals are to join the two surveys together and to pilot the use of mobile phone and online surveys to capture the opinions of 14 to 16 year olds – an age group that is a key priority in terms of the government’s new participation strategy. The survey will retain the ‘one times thirty-minutes of activity per week’ measurement as the base level.
Are these proposals suitable for your activity? Do you think they’re missing anything? Let the Alliance know your thoughts by emailing James MacDougall. To see full details of the consultation visit the Sport England website.
2. Public health
England’s public health framework is changing – presenting new opportunities for the sport and recreation sector.
The Alliance is responding to consultations from the Department of Health, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and other organisations, all of which can be found on the consultation tracker. The Alliance’s contribution to the debate about promoting physical activity will only be as good as the input received from its members, so:
- Do you have examples of effective sport or recreation projects that you can say have demonstrably improved the health of a local community?
- Are you interested in hearing more about the relevance of the public health sector for your organisation?
Email or call Simon Butler on 020 7976 3902 with your responses.
The Alcohol Select Committee is reviewing the Government’s alcohol strategy, which covers sponsorship and advertising in sport. The Portman Group, which has a sector-lead code on alcohol advertising, is reviewing it as part of the Government’s responsibility deal, and the Alliance will be discussing it with the Portman Group and some of the major spectator sports in June.
To read more about the Alliance’s response to the consultation, visit the consultation tracker.
On 30 May the All Party Parliamentary Group for Boxing is joining forces with Channel 4 and perfectmotion productions to host a panel discussion and showcase an upcoming documentary called Glory Road.
Glory Road follows the 1,000-day journey of a group of young Liverpudlian boxers in their quest to qualify for Team GB and represent Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and illustrates the positive role that sport can play in the lives of young people.
For more information contact Simon Butler.
3. Outdoor pursuits
The Government has published a consultation to make it easier for local authorities to preserve and record historical rights of way – a process that has remained incomplete since 1949. It is based on a culmination of years of work and proposals drawn up by a stakeholder working group set up by Natural England.
The Alliance has been calling on successive governments to implement the proposals in order to speed up the process of recording rights of way before the 2026 cut-off date kicks in. The document also proposes various other changes to the rights of way network and suggests how they could be better integrated into the planning process to reduce bureaucracy.
For further information read Martin Key’s consultation summary, or contact Martin directly to find out more. The consultation is available from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website and the deadline for responses is 6 August.
Natural England is seeking to change the way that National Trails (long distance footpaths and bridleways in England and Wales) are funded and managed, to ensure they are more in touch with local needs. The consultation seeks views on the National Trail funding model, community involvement and suggestions to raise the National Trail profile.
The Alliance’s view
The Alliance believes that the National Trails are excellent facilities which are particularly good at encouraging new participants and boosting rural economies.
What do you think of National Trails and how could they be improved? Contact Martin Key with your thoughts. The consultation is available from the Natural England website and the deadline for responses is 5 July.
The Welsh Government is proposing to place a duty on local authorities so that they create better facilities for cycling and walking. The main reason for doing this is to improve public health but the consultation also recognises the economic benefit of having a fitter population, less congestion and attracting the cycling/walking pound.
For further information read Martin Key’s blog or email him directly. The consultation is available on the Welsh Government’s website and the deadline for responses is 14 August.
The Alliance has been working with Volunteering England and the Local Government Association to introduce new guidance for volunteers and organisers wishing to hold community events and activities.
Landowner liability is perceived as a problem when people use land for sport and recreational since the perception is that if someone gets hurt, the landowner could be liable for any injuries sustained. These publications make it very clear that this is not the case – landowners only owe the same duty of care as they do to all other visitors and are not responsible for the risks inherent in the activity.
The Sports Betting Group (SBG), chaired by the Alliance and set up to help national governing bodies to tackle betting corruption, is launching a dedicated website and a new Code of Betting Practice in the coming weeks.
The website will provide information on all aspects of sports betting integrity, ranging from educational material and a whistle blowing line, to policy papers and setting out how the UK’s legislative framework can be improved.
The SBG’s new Code of Betting Practice will be available on the website – providing invaluable step-by-step advice to help national governing bodies develop robust integrity practices that will help to protect sports from corruption.
For further information on the Sports Betting Group contact David Foster.
The Government has issued its response to a public consultation held last year on amending Schedule 6 of the Gambling Act 2005. It sought stakeholders views on proposals to add to the list of sports bodies that exchange information on sports betting with the Gambling Commission.
The Alliance’s view
In response, the Alliance (in conjunction with the Sports Betting Group) was supportive of the Department for Culture Media and Sport’s proposals to include bodies such as the International Olympic Committee and the International Cricket Council in Schedule 6, but suggested that more bodies should be added, such as the London Marathon and the international federations for rugby league and athletics.
Many of the Alliance’s recommendations have been taken on board and these amendments will help to safeguard the integrity of sport. The proposals will be introduced in June.
For further information contact David Foster.
5. Other policies
The Alliance has been discussing the reformation of child performance licensing with the Department of Education (DoE), resulting in a new consultation. Current legislation on how children perform on television, in sport and in theatre and dance productions date back to the 1960s and needs revamping in order to reflect today’s environment.
Specific exemptions have been given for sports – and the Alliance will seek to clarify any grey areas, such as the provision of small payments for young helpers at events. The proposals seem positive for movement and dance organisations and the DoE will be discussing them at the Alliance’s Movement and Dance division meeting on 26 June – contact Sue Wressell to register your attendance.
The UK Government is pushing through a consultation on limited liability for unincorporated associations based in Scotland, and is reasonably confident that this will be on the statute books next year. The main features of the legislation can be found on the consultation tracker.
The Alliance’s view
The Alliance believes the proposals are positive and could provide non-profit organisations with valuable protection. The Alliance has also teamed up with the Community Sector Law Monitoring Group to recommend to Lord Hodgson – who is reviewing the charity and non-profit landscape in England – that England follows Scotland’s lead.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Sport’s meetings continued on 23 April with a debate about the future of funding for grassroots sport. Members heard from three Chief Executives: Roger Draper of the Lawn Tennis Association, David Sparkes of the Amateur Swimming Association and Paul Thorogood from the Football Foundation, who all outlined their perspective on the challenges facing clubs and the wider sector.
The APPG hosted a further meeting on 14 May to review the preparations in place for London 2012. Members heard from Sir Keith Mills, Deputy Chairman of LOCOG and Alan Pascoe MBE who was Vice-Chair of the London bid, and addressed questions including ticket allocation, venue preparation, logistical challenges such as security and traffic and the prospect of a long-term legacy for participation.
For more information about the APPG for Sport contact Simon Butler.
7. Women in sport
This month, two studies have provided insight on girls’ attitudes towards physical activity and sport.
The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) published its report Changing the Game for Girls which found that 51 per cent of secondary school girls are put off by sport and physical activity as a result of their experiences of sport at school.
The research also found contradictions in how active girls wanted to be and how active they really were – 74 per cent wanted to be more active but only 12 per cent are meeting the recommended levels of physical activity.
The report also makes recommendations to help girls enjoy and continue with an active lifestyle – suggesting the need for a government strategy to address why physical education in schools is currently failing girls.
An exploration of girls’ attitudes towards role models was released by Girlguiding UK who found a gender gap when it comes to girls being interested in sport, spending time playing sport and continuing to play it once it is no longer compulsory at school.
Focus groups revealed that awareness of sporting stars in general was low in girls, and that awareness of female sporting stars was almost non-existent. Where female sporting stars could be named it was often because of celebrity appearances rather than based on their sporting achievements.
The research also revealed that girls believe women in sport aren’t as well-known as their male counterparts because they are less successful, rather than recognising that female sporting stars have a lower profile than male sports stars.
In the coming weeks the Alliance will be launching a new weekly European news summary for its members. It will be similar in style to the daily news summary and will contain a round-up of all the most recent sports policy news from Europe. If you are interested in receiving this news summary then email David Foster to be added to the distribution list.
To receive the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s free daily sports news summary, a round-up of the day’s most interesting and informative news articles on sport and recreation, including links to original sources, email email@example.com