An independent national inquiry, examining issues around the UK's sports facilities launches today. Chaired by sports broadcaster John Inverdale, with an expert panel drawn from a range of backgrounds, the inquiry will ask whether the country has enough sport and leisure facilities, what condition they are in and how easily people can access them.
The Facilities Inquiry will take evidence from a range of people and organisations and users of gyms, parks, pitches, pathways and waterways will all have an opportunity to give their views to their panel at a series of evidence-gathering sessions and through the dedicated website – http://www.facilitiesinquiry.org.uk
The inquiry, which has the support of all three main political parties in England, will produce a report and a range of recommendations based on its findings. The panel is scheduled to report in April 2010.
Panel chair, John Inverdale, believes that the quality of our facilities are central to the UK's sporting culture:
"Sport is a really big deal to me, just like it is to millions of other people. It's not just my job but it's a big part of my life too. And the facilities where sports and activity take place are instrumental to how and how much we take part.
"I want this inquiry to get into the nitty-gritty of the UK's facility stock – and that's something we haven't done for a while. We don't really understand enough about what people's expectations are or what they want when it comes to doing sport. The Facilities Inquiry will really get to the bottom of those issues and come up with recommendations which will help get more people more active.
"We all want to see more people leading more active lifestyles. Not only is it good for you, lots of people have forgotten that it's also fun. And sport doesn't just make people healthier. It can cut down crime, help kids learn and bring communities together. So it makes sense to make sure we're doing the right thing when it comes to providing and maintaining facilities. The Facilities Inquiry will help us do just that."
- The other members of the panel are Derrick Anderson CBE, chief executive of Lambeth Council; Adrian Christy, chief executive of Badminton England; Dr Catherine Flitcroft of the British Mountaineering Council; Steve Philpott chief executive of the largest leisure centre operator in the UK, DC Leisure; and Olympic medallist and world champion rower Sarah Winckless.
- Requests for interviews should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- More details can be found at http://www.facilitiesinquiry.org.uk
- CCPR is providing the secretariat to the independent inquiry. CCPR is the umbrella organisation for more than 300 national governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation in the UK, which speaks and acts to promote, protect and provide for the interests of sport and physical recreation at all levels.