Sports strategy to get more active
Sports strategy to get more active

A change of strategy by the government will see more focus on getting children active in sport over the coming years.

photo 1 (21)

Sports Minister and MP for Chatham and Aylesford, Tracey Crouch, promised a radical new approach to sport within the country and after a review, has come up with a new strategy that should see more people and especially children participating in sport.

The Premier League will more than double its investment in grassroots football over the next three seasons as part of a broader government strategy to increase public funding of sport.

The details of the Premier League deal are still to be finalised, but it formed part of an announcement by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch on Thursday which also revealed that Sport England’s remit will change to include investment for children as young as five.

The move will see funding – which has previously been set aside for those aged 14 and over – targeted at projects for people from five years old through to pensionable age that will have a measurable impact on how they improve people’s lives, such as gaining skills to get into work and tackling social inclusion.

Catch Gillingham 20152

Groups who have low participation rates, such as women, disabled people, lower socio-economic groups and older people, will also be targeted to encourage those who do not take part in sport and physical activity to get involved.

Crouch said: “Sport has an incredible power to do social good and that is what our new strategy is all about.

“We will invest in sport and physical activity that shows how it can have a positive impact on people’s lives, how it brings communities together while ensuring it continues to make a significant contribution to the economy too.

“We want to give everyone the best possible experience of sport from the earliest age which is why Sport England will now support children from five years old.”

Tracey Crouch

Commenting on the announcement, Jon Waite, Director of Coaching at Catch Cricket, said:

“We at Catch welcome the change of strategy by the government and it completely fits with our focus of getting more children active in sport across Kent.”

“Over the past few years we have been working in the local community and in schools to get children active with our fun based approach and it’s great to see the ripple effect of parents joining in and taking part in our centres.”

“We have an ongoing strategy of helping to reduce obesity across Kent in all age groups and ensuring sport is available for all and we’re looking at how with increased funding we can deliver more sport for everyone in Kent.”

The government will also work with UK Sport, the Home Nations’ Sport’s Councils and the relevant administrations on improving Britain’s bids for major sporting events, while a working group will be formed to help improve home nation success at future World Cups in the major sports.

Meanwhile, there is to be a review of existing legislation in dealing with corruption in sport, while Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson will lead an independent ‘Duty of Care’ group to help athletes once their careers are over or cut short by injury.

UK Sport and Sport England are also to agree a new code with other UK sports governing bodies to unify the approach towards issues such as board composition, representation and transparency. The code will be mandatory for all sports bodies that want to receive public funding from 2017.

“We also want to maintain Britain’s reputation as one of the leading nations in the world for putting on major sporting events while making sure we are the best in the world on good governance too,” added Crouch.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: “Today is a really important milestone for grassroots sport in England.”

“We welcome the Government’s increased focus on using sport for social good, and are very much looking forward to developing more programmes and campaigns that tackle head on the issues that stop so many people being active.”