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Creating a sporting habit for life: A new youth sport strategy

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habitforlifeBack in 2005, when Lord Coe and the rest of the bid team triumphed in Singapore, they did so with a simple promise: choose London and we will inspire a new generation to take up sport.

Since then, the UK has been attempting something that no other host nation has achieved – to harness the power of the Olympics and Paralympics to create a deep and lasting legacy of sports participation in every community.

It is something that demands a strong political commitment – reflected in our decision to increase sport’s share of National Lottery funding to 20 per cent, and maintain investment in national governing bodies’ Whole Sport Plans.

And it also demands a clear programme of activity to increase opportunities to play sport – hence the £135 million support of community sport facilities and activity through Sport England’s Places, People, Play programme, and the creation of a new School Games competition, which will bring the excitement and challenge of structured competitive sport to thousands of schools across the UK.

Yet what we’ve also learnt over the last six years is that there can be no ‘plug and play’ sporting legacy from the Games.

As recent figures show, the challenge is not simply to build sports facilities but to fill them; and not simply to provide a short-term burst of interest and excitement, but offer long-term pathways that help young people continue playing sport into adulthood.

That is why, as 2012 begins, a new approach for England is needed – a more rigorous, targeted and results-orientated way of thinking about grassroots sport, which focuses all our energies into reaching out to young people more effectively. This will continue in the years after London 2012 as we seek to capitalise and build upon a series of world-class events coming to these shores.

By connecting sports clubs with schools and bringing sporting opportunities to people’s doorsteps, we can convert the interest and excitement young people will feel this year into a lifelong commitment to sport. I am delighted that five of our biggest sports have pledged to lead the way in improving links between schools and their own clubs.

We will bring a sharper sense of direction and purpose across the entire sporting family through payment-by-results: a collective discipline of building on what works, and discarding what doesn’t. The most successful organisations will be rewarded; and those which don’t deliver will see their funding reduced or removed.

We know that building a more active sporting nation is a formidable challenge – arguably the biggest we face in bringing the Games to this country – but this new strategy provides us with the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Our task now is to make good on the original promise that Seb and his team made in Singapore – using London 2012 to inspire the nation and help young people in particular to start a sporting habit for life.

Quite simply, we will never have a better chance to transform our sporting culture than in the months and years ahead. Together, we need to make the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.

JEREMY HUNT Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics Media and Sport



editors comments

Editor's comments - [  Not a great deal new in this Coalition youth sport strategy; nor much detail but some interesting repackaging; We'll leave it to Sport England to translate some of the detail then;

"Between 2012 and 2017 over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding will be invested to create a meaningful and lasting community sport legacy by growing sports participation at the grassroots level.

Under the new strategy, every secondary school in England is set to host a community sports club, and £10 million will be made available to open up school sport facilities for wider public use.

In 2017, five years after the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, we want to have transformed sport in England so that playing sport becomes a lifelong habit for more people and a regular choice for the majority. In particular, we want to raise the number of 14- to 25-year-olds playing sport.

National governing bodies (NGBs) will continue to play a pivotal role in increasing participation, particularly among young people. And, as the Secretary of State has outlined today, a tougher regime of payment-by-results will be a fundamental feature of our performance management system. This will be coupled with a new incentive fund to enable those doing exceptionally well to achieve more.

County sports partnerships will support NGBs, foster local links and help transition young people into clubs. We will support and work with local authorities through our advocacy tools and investment including a new community activation fund.

Partners including the National Partners, StreetGames, the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, the Youth Sport Trust and others will add value and support our work.

“Changing the sporting behaviour of a generation is a major challenge which has not been achieved by any other Olympic host nation,” said Sport England Chief Executive Jennie Price. “With a new focus on young people and an even tougher, Government-backed, regime of payment by results, Sport England and its partners are determined to deliver.”

Under the strategy:

  • Every one of the 4,000 secondary schools in England, will be offered a community sport club on its site with a direct link to one or more NGBs, depending on the local clubs in its area
  • County sports partnerships will be given new resources to create effective links locally between schools and sport in the community
  • All secondary schools who wish to do so will be supported to open up, or keep open, their sports facilities for local community use and at least a third of these will receive additional funding to make this happen
  • 150 College Sports Makers working across most of the 347 general FE colleges
  • Three-quarters of the university student population (aged 16-24) – that’s over 900,000 young people - will get a chance to take up a new sport or continue playing a sport they enjoyed in school or college
  • A thousand of our most disadvantaged local communities will get a Door Step Club (Streetgames)
  • Two thousand young people on the margins of society will be supported into sport and to gain new life skills by the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust
  • There will be a new £40 million local sport fund to help local authorities improve sport provision
  • Building on the early success of Places People Play, a further £100m will be invested in new facilities for the most popular sports, for example new artificial pitches and upgrading local swimming pools
  • A minimum of 30 sports will have enhanced England Talent Pathways to ensure young people and others fulfil their potential.
  • In future, NGB investment will start at age 14 to ensure a better transition from school sport and create a sporting habit for life through increasing participation overall.
  • School Games:  Sainsbury’s pledged a £10 million package to support the new School Games Competition over the next four years. A further £14 million from the Department of Health plus a further £8 million from Sport England will extend funding for School Games organisers from two years to four years, up to 2015. And sponsorship from adidas means that the 1,600 young athletes will be provided with sports kit.    ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (2012). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>In the text: Cryer (2012)


APA reference for this document


Reference :  DCMS. (2012). Creating a sporting habit for life: A new youth sport strategy. London: DCMS


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 January 2013 16:10  

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