Earlier this summer the government launched its ‘A New Strategy for Sport: Consultation Paper’ and invited the public to share their views on what more can be done to improve access and increase participation in sport.
Drawing on our members and volunteers’ collective feedback and the experience of the team here at Sported, we wanted to share with you some of the key recommendations from our response.
So what do we want to see in the government’s new sports strategy when it’s launched later this year?
…Sport for Development to be formally recognised in the new strategy. Funding should be ring-fenced by Sport England specifically for community groups, charities and organisations delivering ‘Sport for Development’ activities/initiatives. Investment decisions should be based on outcomes, benefits and cost savings to society, as opposed to simply participation numbers.
…a cross-departmental government working group (led by the DCMS and including Education, Health, Communities, Treasury, Home Office and Justice departments) to deliver a coordinated strategy on how sport can be better utilised and funded to achieve clearly defined social outcomes.
…funding to be invested in strengthening and advancing the Sport for Development sector to: enable the sharing of learning and best practice; build the evidence base around “what works”; and further its contribution to wider social and economic agendas.
…increased funding and support from Department of Health (and related health bodies) into sporting initiatives designed specifically to tackle the problem of mental health.
…government, Sport England and delivery bodies need to adopt a ‘bottom-up’ approach by increasing investment in and empowering locally-led community sport groups to drive participation.
…government and the sporting bodies responsible for distributing funding need to adopt longer-term investment models.
…government and the relevant sporting bodies to look beyond the traditional sport networks to increase participation (for example, by tapping into non-sporting community groups such as youth clubs, resident associations and women’s groups).
…to open up school sporting facilities to local community groups.