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60 key take-aways from the Government Sports Strategy

The Government has published is sports strategy, aiming to tackle flatlining levels of sport participation and high levels of inactivity in the UK.

The strategy outlines the Governments plans and vision along with what is expected of the sector to deliver this, and how it will support it in getting there.

It follows a public consultation run over eight weeks, from 4 August until 2 October 2015 to canvass views from the sport sector and all other interested parties to inform the development of this new sport strategy.

Weighing in at 84 pages, we’ve pulled together 60 of the most salient points. So grab a cuppa and have a skim:

1)    Funding changing away from how many people play sport but how sport can have a meaningful and measurable impact on improving people’s lives.

2)    Sport England remit to engage with youngster to lower from 14 year olds up to 5 year olds up

3)    Working with and sharing UK sport expertise with governing bodies of non Olympic sports

4)    Active people survey replaced with Active lives – focus on how active people are rather than how often they take part in sport. The new arrangements will run in parallel with Active People for 12 months to enable a smooth transition, and then Active People will stop.

5)    New governance code mandatory for all sports bodies receiving public funding from 2017

6)    5 fundamental outcomes at heart of new strategy: physical health, mental health, individual development, social and community development and economic development.

7)    Sports Business Council created to develop a new business strategy that helps support growth, improve access to finance and develop skills in the Sport Sector.

8)    Working agreement across all Whitehall departments to work together

9)    formal annual progress report to Parliament and a cross government ministerial group which will meet regularly to drive implementation.

10) Local authorities are the biggest public sector investor in sport and physical activity, spending over £1bn per year, excluding capital spend2. Their understanding of communities enables them to target opportunities and encourage mass participation.

11) The opportunities to realise the multiple benefits that can be achieved for communities by investing in green spaces and routes as venues for sport and healthy activity should be considered whenever they arise.

12) Sport England will, following a competitive bidding round, pilot focusing significant resources, including intensive staff input, to support development and implementation of local physical activity strategies in a number of selected geographic areas. (to be outlined in Sport England 2016 strategy)

13) Government will commission an independent review of the role played by CSPs in the delivery of sport at the local level, which will also consider the impact that new structures in local government created through devolution deals have on local delivery of sport and physical activity. This review will be completed by autumn 2016 to complement Sport England’s new strategy.

14) ‘Sport Cabinet’ to be re-established. It will bring together the four sports ministers who represent Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and both England and the UK as a whole.

15) The sector must also adapt to suit how people want to engage in sport and physical activity.

16) Developers who have capitalised on ways for users to capture and share their data through apps or wearable technology have also seen success in attracting new participants. Similarly many organisations have used the power of social media to effectively engage new and existing participants. However, where organisations or sports have failed to understand what customers want and need, the number of people taking part has fallen.

17) Government is open to Sport England setting targets of a step-change in engagement by 2020 in those areas of the country or key population groups on which it focuses significant resource.

18) In future government will, via Sport England, support work designed to get more people from under-represented groups engaging in sport and physical activity. Wherever possible, this focus on under-represented groups will run through all Sport England funding.

19) We will track levels of engagement in outdoors activity through the new Active Lives survey and explore how to enhance the compatibility of data from Active Lives and the Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment (MENE) to deepen understanding of behaviours.

20) Responsibility for the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) is likely to move from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to DCMS and the organisation will be reformed to make its focus the active encouragement of greater levels of outdoor activity, beyond simply its licensing.

21) All organisations that receive funding from Sport England will be required to make data which is relevant to getting more people involved in sport and physical activity publicly available in an agreed format. This may include (but is not limited to) data on the location and availability of facilities, coaches and clubs. Sport England should set and own clear data standards to support this work. Sport England will set out how this will be achieved in their new strategy.

22) Sport England will include a target for the percentage of inactive people that organisations and programmes should be engaging

23) Government will sign up to a dedicated Workplace Challenge for the Civil Service operated by the CSPN, starting in early 2016

24) Sport England and PHE will work together to lead message development and marketing activity to create a compelling environment that encourages everybody, especially people in under-represented groups, to meet the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines on physical activity.

25) 45% of 7-11 year olds cannot swim 25 metres

26) Government will establish a working group to advise on how to ensure no child leaves school unable to meet a minimum standard of capability and confidence in swimming, including disabled young people and those with Special Educational Needs.

27) DCMS, DfT and DfE will work with others to explore how to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn to ride a bike, through the Bikeability cycle training programme.

28) School Games to be assessed on effectiveness and future priorities

29) Sport England to develop a new coaching plan by early 2016

30) Sport England will support the CIMSPA, in developing and implementing a set of standards for all sport and exercise professionals starting in January 2016.

31) New volunteering strategy to be published for sport and physical activity in 2016.

32) Volunteering opportunities, including online, could be clearer. Sport England to work with other agencies to improve access and opportunities available

33) Sport England, UK Sport and NGBs will work together to reward existing / regular volunteers with ‘gold ticket’ opportunities to volunteer at major events.

34) Government will enable the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) to take on a more formal role in helping sport grounds reach the required standards for accessibility.

35) Government will work with the football authorities to ensure that all clubs meet their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to provide reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled spectators attending matches.

36) Government is not persuaded to re-introduce standing accommodation in grounds covered by the all-seater requirement. Government to monitor.

37) Government encourages as many NGBs and other rights holders as possible to sign up to the accessibility principle of the SRA’s Voluntary Code of Conduct on the Broadcasting of Major Sporting Events.

38) Government will ensure that the concerns raised in the consultation on the role of the BBC in making sport available to the viewing public are reflected in the BBC Charter Review process.

39) Government has extended the guarantee funding for Team GB and ParalympicsGB to Tokyo 2020.

40) Sport England will review its commercial framework in 2016 to ensure it supports sports that may have strong domestic leagues but are not currently profitable and need additional help making them more commercially attractive and therefore more financially sustainable.

41) UK Sport will, working with the Home Nations’ Sports Councils, the UK Government and the devolved administrations, develop a UK-wide strategy for so-called ‘mega-events’ where financially viable, by September 2016.

42) Sport England to establish a scheme to support English bids for major sporting events, where financially viable

43) Government will support new sports in the UK, in particular through greater links with the US National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, with the aspiration that a new franchise might one day be based here.

44) To reduce the over-reliance of some organisations on the public sector and move them to a more sustainable mixed funding model, Sport England and UK Sport will together set targets for and support organisations in (a) reducing the percentage of income that the organisations they fund receive from a single public sector source and (b) increasing the overall level of non-public investment they receive.

45) Sport England and UK Sport to work with organisations they fund to agree plans to make back office and efficiency savings where appropriate, and consider moves to shared service models

46) Government to launch a consultation at Budget 2016 on how to expand support that can be given to grassroots sport through the corporation tax system and will also undertake a cost/benefit analysis for some of the tax proposals suggested.

47) Government will encourage the Premier League to ensure that its investment is aligned to the overall outcomes set out in this strategy

48) Establishment of a Social Impact Fund for investment into sport, pooling public, philanthropic and commercial capital. Potentially also looking at ways of enabling local communities to invest into their local sports facilities using models like community shares and crowdfunding.

49) Government to work with Sport England to engage with the sport sector to upskill them in taking on social finance opportunities.

50) In assessing applications for all major capital investments in future, Sport England will include a presumption in favour of co-location of services (including health and education) wherever possible.

51) Future large scale infrastructure investment through Sport England will operate on an assumption of multi-sport solutions, unless that can clearly be shown to offer poor value for money or there is no demand. Only if this is the case will Sport England fund single sport infrastructure projects.

52) Sport England will work with the industry to develop a single customer-facing quality standard for sports facilities. This will be in place by the end of 2016.

53) Investment in artificial football pitches in 30 cities across England by 2020.

54) In early 2016, Sport England will re-issue an updated more user-friendly version of its Procurement and Leisure Contract Toolkit to support greater consistency within the sector and embed the health and social outcomes of this strategy into public leisure contracts.

55) All organisations in receipt of public funding will be expected to carry out a regular staff survey (including their volunteers) at least once a year and: a) act on the results internally making clear to their employees and volunteers how they are doing so; and b) make topline data available to Sport England to collate the results and build up a better picture of the sport workforce.

56) Sport England will develop a new Sports Leadership Scheme as part of its new workforce strategy, to provide high quality professional development for future leaders in sport (at both national and community level).

57) Sport England and UK Sport will work together to tackle the lack of diversity in senior positions across the sport sector, working with expert organisations to break down barriers in the recruitment and advertisement of roles. Sport England will also place equal emphasis on the support for LGB&T people in sport as it does for other characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

58) Government expects large organisations in the sport sector, such as leisure centre operators, to utilise apprenticeships as a key element of their workforce strategies. Smaller organisations that are in receipt of public funding, regardless of whether they are required to pay the apprenticeship levy, should have at least one apprentice at all times.

59) Government will establish an Independent Working Group on a new Duty of Care for participants in sport.

60) New sets of KPIs outlined (across pages 78-80)

Bigwave media is a full service marketing agency working with over 400 leisure facilities in the UK and Ireland. For sport and leisure marketing support to reach the right demographics or advice on implementing digital strategies please contact us.

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