Charlotte Adams, Parliamentary and Policy Officer at the Sport and Recreation Alliance reports from the Conservative party conference:
“It was encouraging that the Conservative party put sport and recreation on the conference agenda. In particular, the Justice Minister, Dr Philip Lee MP, emphasised that sport is a force for good through its ability to tackle crime and help people turn their lives around. We’re pleased the Minister restated Government’s commitment to a review of the criminal justice system and sport, which is expected to be published early next year.”
She added, “The Minister’s words are welcome, however, we need to make sure all departments work together in a cross-government approach which maximises the role sport and recreation can play in achieving the government’s wider policy objectives set out in Sporting Future.
“The party also acknowledged the role of physical activity in combating childhood obesity. But Government ultimately needs to face up to the epidemic confronting our children and young people and commit publicly to increased funding of school sport through the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) for the lifetime of this Parliament.
“The Prime Minister’s commitment to improving mental health provision is positive but the Conservatives overlooked the role sport plays in tackling the stigma associated with mental health and providing a preventative solution for people suffering mental health problems. We therefore urge government to take forward the recommendation in Baroness Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport Report to fund and promote the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.
“Clearly, party conferences are just one small part of the policy making process. Once Parliament returns from recess next week, we will continue to make sure that sport and recreation is at the forefront of all politicians’ minds.”