The Sport and Recreation Alliance responds to Government’s Sports Strategy as part of the National Sector Partners Group

Youth Development ()

Today the Government published its long-anticipated Sport Strategy ’Get Active’ – outlining its ambition to create a more active nation and, crucially, address barriers around participation in sport and physical activity.

We are pleased to see the strategy launched, and in partnership with key bodies from across the sector have issued the following statement:

“As a coalition of leading bodies across sport, recreation and physical activity, the National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) passionately believes that improving the health and wellbeing of this nation must be a central priority for this and future Governments. This is essential if we want to create sustained economic growth, support the NHS, and strengthen the fabric of our communities across all ages and backgrounds. The role of sport, recreation, and physical activity will be integral to this.

“The Government’s new Sports Strategy shines a spotlight on the essential nature of sport and physical activity in people’s everyday lives, and importantly recognises the many programmes and initiatives that contribute to this ambition to improve our national health and wellbeing.

“The collective responsibility to improve the health, wellbeing and economic productivity of the nation sits across Whitehall so we welcome the creation of a new Government taskforce to oversee the implementation of the strategy, with industry representatives collaborating with key Departments centrally.

“The inclusion in the new strategy of participation targets provides clarity around the Government’s ambitions for a more physically active population and to reduce existing inequalities. We look forward to seeing how these ambitions translate into clear, sustainable delivery plans that focus on the growth and development of the sector.

“Only by developing and supporting a programme of delivery in conjunction with all our partner organisations and making full use of all aspects of the sector, will this strategy be able to deliver on its ambitions and unlock the full potential of the sector. We believe with the necessary resources and working collaboratively with the sector, we can become one of the world’s most active nations and improve outcomes across society.

“We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government to develop and implement legislative changes and national initiatives to realise these ambitions together.”

Lisa Wainwright MBE, CEO of the Alliance said:

“The Sport and Recreation Alliance welcomes the publication of the Government’s new sport strategy, ‘Get Active’. We wholly support the aspiration to get more people more active more often, with a focus on addressing some of the persistent barriers to participation.

“We are encouraged by a number of the initiatives – including the creation of a National Physical Activity Taskforce, and new participation targets – and are pleased with the broad approach the Government appears to be taking around how to drive a more active nation, complementing the work our members undertake day in and day out across the country, creating opportunities for millions of people to be active whatever their passion – be it traditional sport and games, outdoor and water recreation or movement and dance.

“This includes the work of our members to make sport and recreation more sustainable, accessible and inclusive, and it is therefore also pleasing to see the Government’s support for these initiatives too – it is imperative the sector can continue to play a leading role on behalf of – and for the benefit of - all society.”

“We at the Alliance fervently believe in the transformational power of sport and recreation. To unlock the full potential of getting active, we therefore also urge the Government to be even bolder in its ambitions, working hand-in-glove with the Alliance, our members, and other parts of the sports sector to deliver on its proposals and beyond.”

“Overall, the strategy ought to be seen as the starting point in radically shifting the dial on creating a truly active nation – engaging and delivering opportunities for people of all levels, ages and backgrounds to fully realise the benefits of sport and recreation.”

“As evidenced by the recent success of the Lionesses, transformational change is not achieved overnight but is the product of well-planned and concerted (and sometimes hard-fought) action over many years. To achieve meaningful outcomes, the strategy must ultimately be underpinned by sustained investment, unswerving political focus from the very top of Government and ambitious policy reform from across Whitehall to unlock the full potential of sport, recreation and physical activity in all its forms.”

“Alongside our members and sector partners, we will continue to work with Government to drive forward this ambition.”