The manifesto document presents policy calls, ideas and proposals from 29 organisation from across the physical activity sector. The Sports Think Tank asked each organisation to create resource-neutral policies which they would want the UK’s political parties to champion in their forthcoming manifestos and first 100 days in office.
The policy calls range from cutting red tape, raising standards and suggestions on how to redirect existing funding to more specific proposals – such as elevating the status of PE within the curriculum, include active environments in planning policies and changing the Highway Code.
Many of the contributors also call for greater governmental intervention to help drive much needed change in the sector itself. There are proposals to introduce new legislation and more regulation to make certain policies mandatory and improve the performance of the sector. Addressing the deep-seated inequalities across the sector is another common theme among the proposed policies, as are ensuring better provision for children and young people, embedding activity in Further Education and moving the sector towards health and wellbeing, especially through prevention in integrated care systems.
Commenting on the publication of the document, Kim Leadbeater MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, said:
“It is not hyperbole to claim that physical activity remains one of the most under-used resources we have at our disposal when tackling some of our most persistent challenges, from easing the pressures on the NHS, tackling crime and improving economic productivity to finding ways to level up.
“That’s why this is a crucial document. It brings together ideas, proposals and calls from across the sport, physical activity, and wellbeing sector, making for a fascinating and inspiring read. From simple ideas that could be easily implemented to more wide-reaching changes intended to shift the dial on public discourse, there is plenty of food for thought.
“Perhaps most importantly – and this is where political parties should prick up their ears – the contributors were challenged to make each policy call cost-neutral. In these economically trying times, this aspect alone should make the document you have in your hands essential reading.
“Another aspect that adds value to this document is the sheer variety of the ideas within it. From activating primary school children to engaging the elderly and from community sport to elite performance, nearly every aspect of sport, wellbeing and physical activity is covered.”
Commenting on the launch of the document, Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust said:
“As we enter an election year, we believe children’s health, happiness and wellbeing should be a top priority for all political parties. It’s time politicians took a longer-term view and prioritised the things that equip children and young people with the values, skills and competencies that will be needed to navigate the changing world. We need to unlock their potential and enable them to become active citizens, contributing positively to their communities and the economy.
"At the Youth Sport Trust, we believe daily physical activity and harnessing the power of PE, play and sport can help ‘get upstream’ of so many of the physical, social and emotional challenges being faced by this generation. We are pleased to have contributed our chapter to this manifesto of 100 policy ideas for sport, physical activity and wellbeing, and have taken the opportunity to highlight why children and young people need to be at the very centre of future thinking and policy making.
"As our chapter – and indeed the whole document – demonstrates, no organisation or institution can do this alone, so we stand ready to work with schools, partners and government to implement these policy ideas and build brighter futures for young people and the nation as a whole.”
The launch of the manifesto document is just the beginning, with a series of blogs and podcasts starting on the 5th Feb. You can keep up to date on everything that is happening here.
The organisations who contributed their policy ideas ranged from national governing bodies of sport, universities and colleges, charities, industry bodies and consultants to architects and commercial companies. The full list of contributors is:
Youth Sport Trust, Play England, Activity Alliance, Women in Sport, Sported, UK Sport, The Active Partnership Network, Sporting Equals, Loughborough College, UK Coaching, StreetGames, Intelligent Health, British Judo Association, British Canoeing, Loughborough University, Active IQ, Sportily, Sport for Development Coalition, State of Life, David Morley Architects, Max Associates, SLC, Fitmedia, Data Sport 80, Oaks Consultancy, Farrars Building Chambers, Sports Communications, Henham Strategy.
It is not hyperbole to claim that physical activity remains one of the most under-used resources we have at our disposal when tackling some of our most persistent challenges.