In the 1970s, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Development of Sport undertook a series of projects in an attempt to compare participation patterns in member states (see HB Rodgers (1978) Sport in its Social Context and U Claeys (1982) Sport in European Society, Council of Europe, Strasbourg).
In 1981 the committee decided to take this work forward in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the ethos of its Sport For All Charter, and fifteen member states undertook studies, of which this is one (all fifteen will be published in French and English by the Council of Europe Clearing House in Brussels).
These studies attempt a partly quantitative and partly qualitative evaluation of what is a philosophy and a movement: expressed partly through laws and standards, partly through policies and publicity, promoted partly by word of mouth and partly by campaigns.
The report concentrates on the life and policies of the Sports Council, responsible for English and UK/International affairs. It was not possible within the time and resources to analyse the papers and policies of the autonomous Sports Councils for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which carry out national functions in relation to domestic governing bodies of sport, national facility provision; publicity and campaigns, research and information dissemination over and above local sports development and facility provision. The report should be read in this sense throughout.
Wherever possible, the four Councils (in 1984) adopt a common stance on UK matters and have many similar aims, policies and programmes, but there are some differences which should be pointed out here:
In legislative terms, Northern Ireland is different from the other three parts of the UK in that local authorities have a mandatory duty to provide leisure facilities. But standards of provision and finance are set by the Department of Education, and the Department is also responsible for advice on design and management, under a draft Recreation and Youth Service Order 1984.
The Sports Council for Wales has chosen to concentrate on grants for voluntary sports clubs and has only supported municipal capital schemes when they are of regional significance. All four Councils have energetically promoted joint provision and community use of facilities, especially schools.
As far as excellence is concerned, all four Sports Councils have similar schemes for supporting their governing bodies of sports, and like the Sports Council the other three run national centres for training and, in some cases, competition: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff and Plas Menai in Wales, Inverclyde, Cumbrae and Glenmore Lodge in Scotland and Tollymore in Northern Ireland.
Regarding promotion, while in 1982/3 a joint campaign aimed at attracting more women into sport was run in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, all four Councils have cooperated in the 1985/6 campaign to attract 13-24 year olds, Ever Thought of Sport? This is a much higher level of promotion that anything recorded by Prof McIntosh and Miss Charlton (section 12 of part 1) involving poster and radio advertising, backed by professional organisation and sponsored by Weetabix Ltd.
The Council is also actively marketing its logo, for instance, in clothing, publishing and promotional ventures, generating income and visibility. Similarly, in Scotland Maxwell House are sponsoring Sport For All promotions.
While geographically Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland might be considered regions of the United Kingdom, constitutionally and institutionally they are autonomous entities. The increasing trend to attempt to be more sensitive and responsive to local cultures and needs, and to devolve as much decision making as possible will add to the fascinating kaleidoscope of sport in the UK's culture.
The Sports Council has produced and is implementing and reviewing its 10 year strategy Sport In The Community. The Scottish Sports Council has produced The Way Ahead, an outline of its main policies and priorities, and Sports Council for Wales and the Northern Ireland Sports Council are preparing similar strategic plans. In all four parts of the Kingdom not all administrators, sports development staff, or participants will accept the ideas produced by Prof McIntosh and Miss Charlton (the authors of this research document), but we publish them as an interesting and provoking critique of progress towards Sport For All, to be considered seriously by anyone involved in this movement.
Editor's comments - [ This 1985 report (Sports Council: Study # 26) concentrates on the life and policies of the Sports Council (GB), responsible for English and (until 1997 and the establishment of UK Sport) UK/International sporting affairs. This is a research report from the West London Institute of Higher Education (now Brunel University) in the context of 'Sport for All'. This is a 'raw' scan of a very rare publication and we have kept it as such to preserve integrity. In our view it remains an important account of the Sports Councils' first policy; Sport for All. ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (2012). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: Cryer (2012)
Reference : McIntosh, P. Charlton, V. (1985). The impact of Sport for All policy - 1966-1984.: And a way forward. London: Sports Council (GB)
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