Commenting on Conference discussions, Leigh Thompson, Policy Manager at the Sport and Recreation Alliance said:
“It was disappointing to see the Labour Party discuss their approach to obesity, mental health and early years without acknowledging the positive role sport and recreation can play in tackling these issues.”
He added, “We again see politicians talk about obesity, yet fail to recognise that one of the primary causes of the obesity epidemic we face as a nation is inactivity. The sport and recreation sector is working hard to develop and implement strategies to get the nation active, but we need the support of politicians.
“The pledge to increase spending on mental health for young people is a much needed and positive step forward and one which we as a Steering Group Member of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation applaud. We would be more than happy to discuss with shadow ministers how the sector can help tackle the stigma associated with mental health problems as well as play a role in improving mental health across all ages.
“Further, it is imperative that early years support includes a focus on providing opportunities for young children to be active and play; only by starting early will our children be able to develop the physical literacy they need for an active and healthy life.
“Overall it is disappointing to see Labour miss the opportunity to reinforce the role the sport and recreation can play in addressing the acute health and social challenges we face.”
The Conservative Party Conference begins on Sunday and we will be looking out for key announcements which could impact the sport and recreation sector.