Government has released Sporting Future: First Annual Report which reviews activity since the publication of Sporting Future in December 2015 and identifies the next steps in delivering the Government’s strategy to get the nation more active.
The Alliance and its members have provided significant input into the development of Sporting Future and, subsequently, Sport England’s new strategy Towards an Active Nation and the UK Sport/Sport England A Code for Sports Governance. The first annual report is therefore a useful marker of progress against the Government’s strategic objectives.
Key highlights from the Sporting Future: First Annual Report include:
- A recognition that the strategy will take time to implement and, likewise, for the sector to adjust, notably to the shift away from just getting more people active and participating, but also the positive impact it will make on the individual and wider society.
- Acknowledgement that focus must shift from those that already play sport towards those who don’t, or do so infrequently.
- Reinforcement of the cross-government approach established in Sporting Future through the creation of an Inter-Ministerial Group to ensure coordination across departments and to promote sport and physical activity.
Local government and funding
- A recognition of the role played by local government in the delivery of sport and physical activity, both as a funder and through its role in coordinating activity at local level.
- Confirmation of Sport England funding aimed at local priorities including the £120 million inactivity fund and a £130 million commitment over the next four years to develop and implement local strategies for physical activity and sport focused on inactive and under-represented groups.
Elite sport and major events
- Continued funding for GB Olympic and Paralympic teams through the established ‘no compromise’ approach, albeit with a recognition that supporting the outcomes in Sporting Future should influence any decisions on funding where competing sports have an equal medal chance.
- A continued focus on the UK hosting major sporting events. The report confirms forthcoming updates to the Gold Framework guidance on UK-level support for bidding for and staging major events as well as the publication of a new mega-events framework to identify and pursue hosting rights for the biggest global events.
Shared services and commercial income
- Work to identify and develop options for further efficiencies through shared services.
- Confirmation that Sport England is developing a new commercial framework to support organisations to transition away from reliance on public funding towards alternative sources of income.
- Confirmation that corporation tax deductibility will be extended to expenditure on grassroots sport in the Finance Bill 2017.
- Continued support for the Voluntary Code on Broadcasting as a vehicle to engage more rights holders to ensure sport is accessible to the widest audience and, where possible, rights holders reinvest the revenue generated from rights sales back into grassroots development.
Economic impact of sport
- Establishment of a Sports Business Council to support the sector to maximise the economic impact of sport and recreation and ensure linkages with the Government’s wider industrial strategy.
Governance and integrity
- A commitment to position the UK as a world leader in sports governance through the publication and application of the new A Code for Sports Governance. Where appropriate UK administrators involved at international level will also be encouraged to promote the Code’s principles within international federations.
- Confirmation that Government is conducting a review into the criminalisation of doping which is due to report in spring. Once complete, Government will undertake a review of UKAD to ensure it remains fit for purpose followed by possible changes to the National Anti-Doping Policy.
- A commitment to sign the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sporting Competitions in the first half of 2017.
- Confirmation that the UK Government is working with the IOC and other stakeholders to launch a new International Sports Integrity Partnership in February 2017.
- Inclusion of outdoor recreation activities in the Active Lives survey which complements information collected through Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement in the Natural Environment (MENE).
- Confirmation of the review of the Adventure Activities Licencing Authority (AALA). Alliance members are engaged in this process.
- A recognition of the value of outdoor spaces through Sport England’s £7.5 million Community Asset fund which is open to outdoor spaces and facilities as well as built facilities.
- Confirmation that Public Health England (PHE) will publish its progress report on Everybody Active, Every Day shortly
- Establishment of a new Clinical Leadership Group to promote the integration of sport and physical activity into care pathways.
Children and young people
- Creation of a working group led by the Amateur Swimming Association to explore ways to ensure that no child leaves school unable to meet a minimum standard of swimming.
- Publication of the Government’s Childhood Obesity: A plan for Action and work with stakeholders to ensure effective implementation including ensuring children get at least an hour of exercise every day.
- Confirmation of the commitment to invest in the Primary PE and Sport Premium until 2020 and to use revenue from the soft drinks industry levy to double the funding from £160m to £320 from September 2017.
- Publication of Sport England’s volunteering strategy along with funding of up to £26 million over four years.
- Confirmation that Sport England will publish its professional workforce strategy for the sports sector later in 2017.
- Work led by UK Sport and Sport England in partnership with expert organisations to explore diversity in leadership.
- Reforms to apprenticeships – the latest message from the Department of Education on the Advanced Apprenticeship for Sporting Excellence is here.
Inclusion, safeguarding and Duty of Care
- Confirmation that Sport England will work with expert partners on LGB&T insight, communications and capacity building. Sport England will also be involved in Government’s wider work to address homophobia in sport.
- Four of the five key strategic outcomes identified in Sporting Future – physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development and social/community development – will be measured using Active Lives. The fifth outcome – economic development – will be captured through the DCMS Sport Satellite Account.
- 25 supporting KPIs will be tracked through a variety of different measures to identify how sport is contributing to the strategic objectives.