"As a coalition of leading bodies across sport, recreation and physical activity, the National Sector Partners Group (NSPG) passionately believes that improving the health and wellbeing of this nation must be a central priority for this and future governments. This is essential if we want to create sustained economic growth, support the NHS, and strengthen the fabric of our communities across all ages and backgrounds. The role of sport, recreation, and physical activity will be integral to this.
"The Government’s new sports strategy, ‘Get Active: A strategy for the future of sport and physical activity’, shines a spotlight on the essential nature of sport and physical activity in people’s everyday lives, and importantly recognises the many programmes and initiatives that contribute to this ambition to improve our national health and wellbeing.
“The collective responsibility to improve the health, wellbeing and economic productivity of the nation sits across Whitehall so we welcome the creation of a new Government taskforce to oversee the implementation of the strategy, with industry representatives collaborating with key Departments centrally.
“The inclusion in the new strategy of participation targets provides clarity around the Government’s ambitions for a more physically active population and to reduce existing inequalities. We look forward to seeing how these ambitions translate into clear, sustainable delivery plans that focus on the growth and development of the sector.
“Only by developing and supporting a programme of delivery in conjunction with all our partner organisations and making full use of all aspects of the sector, will this strategy be able to deliver on its ambitions and unlock the full potential of the sector. We believe with the necessary resources and working collaboratively with the sector, we can become one of the world’s most active nations and improve outcomes across society.
“We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government to develop and implement legislative changes and national initiatives to realise these ambitions together.”
Speaking on behalf of the Youth Sport Trust, CEO Ali Oliver said:
"Children and young people face a dual crisis in mental and physical wellbeing, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing cost of living challenges. We believe the scale of crisis makes this a matter of national concern, and requires a comprehensive response. We are therefore pleased the Government’s new Sports Strategy makes it clear, increasing opportunities for young people to be physically active is a priority. However, we know that in order for real change to take place, this strategy must be supported by a comprehensive delivery plan.
“At present, too few children and young people are meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ recommendation that children and young people should be active for 60 minutes each and every day. We therefore welcome the Sports Strategy’s ambitious target of inspiring one million more children and young people to be active by the end of the decade and the commitment to a national campaign to raise awareness in the wider population of the importance of 60 minutes of activity a day. This is an important staging post towards a future where fun, engaging opportunities to be physically active are embedded into every child’s daily life.
“Whether it is finding a love of movement, improving wellbeing, supporting learning, developing essential life skills, or unlocking a talent in sport, it is vital all young people are given the opportunity to access the life changing benefits of PE, sport and play. This is also crucial to developing and fostering healthy habits throughout life, and producing young people who become positive contributors to their communities and society as a whole.”
We have also published a more detailed response from the Youth Sport Trust on the Sports Strategy - you can read that here.