We are glad to see Active Lives quite literally up and running. This new survey provides our sector with detailed insight into everyday participation in sport and recreation.
At the broadest level, the report reveals that 60% of the nation are reaching or going above the Chief Medical Officer’s activity guidelines. This is clearly an encouraging start, but as a sector we need to treat this figure as the benchmark from which to build on. There is also a need to interrogate and understand the detail behind the data, since levels of participation vary significantly when looked at through different demographic lenses.
We are heartened to see that the report incorporates a range of activity, including cycling and walking for travel, walking for leisure and dance, none of which have featured in Sport England studies before. As a sector we must continue to broaden our horizons and recognise the breadth of both formal and informal ways for people to get active and stay healthy and this survey is a big step in the right direction.
Looking ahead, our focus needs to be on getting the 25% of our population who are “inactive” involved in sport and recreation, and encourage those who are currently classed as “fairly active” to increase their weekly activity. At the Sport and Recreation Alliance, we will continue to work closely with all of our members to ensure they have the tools they need to engage with the most difficult to reach communities and individuals so that everyone can reap the benefits we all know sport and recreation can bring.