The Government has today (Thursday 9 February) published its first annual progress report on its new sport strategy that aims to get the nation more active for the positive impact it has on people’s health, local communities and the economy.
‘Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation’ was published in December 2015 and set out a new government vision for sport concentrating on five key outcomes – physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development.
The progress report includes latest information on the PE and Sport Premium funding, Department of Health Obesity Strategy and references the review of the School Games, which was undertaken by the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England.
Importantly, the report highlights for the first time the challenge of meeting raised expectations, and maintaining the increased levels of children’s participation stimulated by the Primary PE and School Sport Premium when young people transition to secondary school.
With no additional investment into secondary schools and an overall decline in curriculum physical education and school sport, this issue is something the Youth Sport Trust has been championing and working on local solutions for, over the past year.
This report explains the Government is, “improving its understanding of how moving from primary to secondary schools affects pupils participation in sport by holding meetings with teachers, visiting different types of schools and engaging experts in the field.”
The Youth Sport Trust recently supported a visit by Department for Education officials to see one of our transition projects in action.
Responding to the Government progress report, Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
The Youth Sport Trust welcomes the Government’s progress report today which reaffirms its commitment to the power of sport to deliver social outcomes, including the ambition to improve the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of young people.
“Its intention to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and impact on physical activity levels of young people as they transition from primary to secondary school is also crucial given the high levels of investment within the primary sector, the importance of sustaining children’s enthusiasm and access to sporting opportunities within secondary education, and the contribution sport can make to helping young people with the wider social and emotional challenges of transition.
“We know that this is a significant step for young people as they are often presented with new experiences and pressures that mean their confidence, self esteem and participation in sport and physical activity can all decline.
“Young people may have developed a passion for physical activity at primary school age and it is crucial they are given the support and opportunities for this to continue to flourish when they move into secondary education.
“It is only through successful transition planning between primary and secondary schools that this can be achieved. We look forward to working with Government and sharing further our expertise in this area.”