Press release -
London Sport response to The House of Lords Committee on a National Plan for Sport and Recreation
The House of Lords National Plan for Sport and Recreation Committee published its official report on Friday 10 December calling for a national plan for sport, health and wellbeing from the government.
The Select Committee was appointed in October 2020 and re-appointed in May 2021 to consider the effectiveness of sport and recreation policies and initiatives, and the case for a national plan.
The committee’s report argues that, with levels of inactivity stubbornly high and many inequalities made significantly worse by covid-19, a national plan would set clear goals and deliver real change.
After hearing evidence from across the sport and recreation sector, the committee have made a series of recommendations to Government and produced a full report.
The recommendations include:
- A new statutory requirement for local authorities to provide and maintain adequate facilities for sport and physical activity.
- Funding for sport should coalesce around the new national plan.
- PE should become a core national curriculum subject in schools.
- Schools and colleges should be encouraged to develop closer links with local sports clubs.
- A robust approach to duty of care and safeguarding.
- Mandatory reporting in sport and recreation settings to tackle abuse
The report also highlighted how the scale and immediacy of the challenge to turn the tide on high rates of inactivity could not have been more clearly demonstrated since the covid-19 pandemic.
London Sport recognises the need for closer collaboration between the health system and the physical activity and sport sector – which must play a fundamental role in our pandemic recovery.
London Sport’s Strategic Lead – Facilities and Urban Spaces, Chris Donkin, said:
“Clubs, organisations and groups across London are screaming out for more safe, high-quality facilities that they can use with their participants and keep London moving.
“We welcome the call for audits to review facility provision across each local authority to ensure that local provision is meeting the needs of the respective local communities, especially their inactive members.
“We also need to identify where spare capacity exists in both traditional and non-traditional spaces that can be better utilised to increase access to physical activity and strategically invest to improve access where there’s a lack of capacity.
“Through the Department of Education’s Opening School Facilities fund, which we distributed earlier this year, we’ve seen how schools can become powerful community hubs for young people and support them in the development of positive habits for life.
“With this recent success in mind, I was thrilled to see a specific recommendation around schools and colleges being encouraged to develop closer links with local sports clubs from the committee.
“There is still untapped potential within schools and the Higher/Further Education sector where access to facilities can be combined to other key enablers such as the workforce.
“I would expect this to not only tackle the drop-out from physical activity that often occurs when people leave full time education but also provide safe activities for young people and divert them away from crime and anti-social behaviour.”
About London Sport
London Sport aims to make London the most physically active city in the world. Supported by the Mayor of London and Sport England, our target is to get Londoners more physically active.
For more information on London Sport, visit www.londonsport.org