New Strategy for Sport

The Government have published a new strategy for sport today, the first top level look at sport and the future of sport for over 10 years.

The strategy is built around 5 outcomes:

  • Physical Health

  • Mental Health

  • Individual Development

  • Social and Community Development

  • Economic Development

The move will see Sport England’s remit changed from investing in sport for those aged 14 and over to supporting people from five years old right through to pensioners, in a bid to create a more active nation.

National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs) are seen as key partners in the strategy along with a diverse set of other partners.

Led by the Sport Minister, Tracey Couch, the development of the strategy has seen a wide consultation process and initial impressions of the strategy are that it is modern and an excellent summary of the many inputs that have been made. It is worth reading and is readable!

There are several really striking changes in approach advocated in the strategy:

  1. Clear linkages between various Government Departments; far more joined up thinking

  2. A measurement system that is far wider than the one currently used and more selective of the strategy as a whole

  3. Recognition of the vital work done outside of school to develop sporting or active habits early in life

  4. Stronger ‘good governance’ for all funded bodies that reflects international concern at poor governance and integrity.

Clearly there are going to be some significant challenges for NGBs such as British Orienteering but there will also be some significant opportunities – if we wish to take them.

Personally I think it is an impressive strategy for sport and Tracey as Minister has done an excellent job in leading its development. It places sport firmly within the main government strategies and recognises the way in which sport can impact on improving people’s lives – something we all believe in.

No doubt NGBs will have to reflect on their own place in delivering the strategy but from an orienteering perspective I do think there will be opportunities to grow the sport provided there is recognition that we as a sport and governing body have to continue to evolve.

A statement from Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, sums the strategy up well, "The strategy is an important and welcome step forward on a number of fronts. We particularly welcome the emphasis on the social value of sport which all of our members deliver week in week out from the grassroots game to elite performance. Ministers and the sports sector agree that the good work which is already going on needs to be measured more effectively and that the government can work in a more joined-up way to support it."

"The strategy shows that ministers have been listening to the sector and reflecting on some of the wider activity which the Alliance and its members have been engaged in. It is good to see the Strategy reflects the benefits of outdoor recreation, the importance of good Governance, and the contribution made by the Voluntary Code on Broadcasting. Building on the success of the Get Your Kit on Campaign, it is clear that the sector has been successful in making its case heard and in ensuring that it is fit for the future."

"The outcome of the Spending Review and the content of the strategy are both good news for the sector. Sport England's new strategy will tell us more about how the goals will be met. We want our members to be at the heart of those plans."

As does Sports Minister Tracey Crouch, "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."

The strategy is worth reading and can be found here


Item published by Mike Hamilton

Posted on Thursday 17th December 2015