In 1982 The Sports Council published its strategy, 'Sport in the Community: The Next Ten Years'. At the heart of that strategy was the need to reduce social inequities in opportunities to play sport, and to continue supporting improvements in performance. Against a scenario of finite resources, it set targets for increased participation for the first time, and presented a selective set of investment programmes for facilities and for developing top level performance.
Because of the Council's remit, the strategy was one for English sport, but had implications throughout the UK. Its proposals were welcomed by the overwhelming majority of the Council's partners in the public, commercial and voluntary sectors. They have all striven to develop sport in the first five years of the decade, 1983-1993.
The Council promised that it would review the strategy after five years, and this document is the outcome of that review. The first stage of the review was a consultation paper, 'Which Ways Forward?', which asked sixty questions about trends in sport and society, and the roles providers could or should play in the future, including the Sports Council.
Copies of the paper were distributed widely to some 1,200 organisations, and 345 responses were received—including 113 from 60 local government bodies, 54 from governing bodies of sport, and 65 from national and regional public bodies including the Regional Councils for Sport and Recreation. All were thoughtful, and many were very detailed—they totalled over 1700 pages. They have been an enormous aid in drafting this review. On some issues the replies showed great convergence of view; on others there were differences. Both situations are reflected wherever appropriate in this text, Sport in the 90's.
The analysis showed a clear consolidation and professionalisation of planning and management in local authorities, and in many companies and voluntary organisations as well. It also showed that sport and recreation have enough customer demand and enough market dynamic to grow in the public and commercial sectors at rates above inflation, despite economic constraints.
In the last twenty years  the public sector, primarily through local authority support, has been absolutely vital in extending sporting opportunities. Managers of public enterprises can be as innovative as their commercial counterparts, but have a longer decision-making process through which to navigate. The public sector undertakes two unique tasks: the first is providing sport for those materially disadvantaged; the second is co-ordinating private, voluntary and public actions on behalf of the whole community, with adequate accountability.
Editor's comments - [ The Sports Council promised that it would review the strategy, 'Sport in the Community: The Next Ten Years', after five years, and this document is the outcome of that review, however in what were then shifting political sands this review provided directional signs to what was to become of the Sports Council (GB), with Whitehall not so impressed with the Sports Council's performance in recent years (Pickup, 1993). ] Reference this?Cryer, J. (2013). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from In the text: Cryer (2013)
Reference : Sports Council. (1988). Sport in the Community: Into the 90's: A strategy for sport 1988-1993. London: Sports Council (GB)
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