The report suggests that failings in sport and recreation policy and fragmented delivery have resulted in little progress being made in tackling levels of inactivity, particularly in certain groups including women and girls, disabled people, ethnic minorities, the elderly and people from less affluent backgrounds.
Responding to the Committee report, Lisa Wainwright MBE, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said: “We welcome this report which is a substantial and wide-ranging examination of the issues we face in getting more people active through sport, recreation and physical activity.
“As we made clear in our evidence to the Committee, there are significant challenges which must be tackled if we are to make a real shift in activity levels across the board and maximise the contribution the sector can make to the whole of government’s priorities.
“We note the Committee’s key recommendation that there should be a new national plan for sport, health and wellbeing.
“We believe the Government’s proposed refresh of its Sporting Future strategy provides a critical opportunity to put sport, recreation at the heart of the national recovery from COVID-19 and the Government’s wider plans to level up the country, strengthen public services, support economic growth and achieve net-zero.
“In particular, the revised strategy must identify the key policy levers across the whole of government which can improve the operating environment for the sector to help get more people active and how different parts of government – both national and local – will work together to maximise the sector’s contribution to wider policy objectives.
“More broadly, we also welcome the Committee’s focus on the importance of activity for children and young people and it is essential that the promised revisions to Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan, along with a long-term funding commitment for PE and school sport, address the issues raised in the report."
“Likewise, the forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper provides the opportunity to position sport, recreation and physical activity at the centre of efforts to enhance employment and skills, improve health, wellbeing and community cohesion and reduce crime.
“We also recognise the report makes a series of recommendations in different areas covering safeguarding and duty of care, workforce and local planning and delivery and we will examine these in detail.
“The Alliance looks forward to working with our sector partners and government to make sure that sport, recreation and physical activity is inclusive and accessible to all and plays its fullest role in supporting broader government objectives.”
You can read the report here.