A New Strategy for Sport
To: Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport
From: Derek Wyatt, former rugby international and MP
One last chance and why
You cannot have:
** Hardly any sport in primary schools
** Hardly any facilities for sport in primary schools ** No responsibility for sport in schools by Sport England
** No relationship between local sports clubs and the primary and secondary schools in their hinterland
£1.2 billion was wasted on School Sports Partnerships.
Sport is not a delegated responsibility for local authorities; the thinning of the state means this is unlikely to happen and as a consequence less will be spent by them onproviding even women's changing rooms for soccer pitches.
Many parks have let go their cricket pitches and tennis courts. Ground staff have been laid off. Security for these parks has been reduced to a minimum. Parks need to be re-owned. Pitches need to go into a local community sports charity owned by the sports clubs not the local council.
Sport England needs to become a think tank: it has passed its sell by date. It should act rather as the King's Fund does for Health. Its first task should be to research and publish what kind of sports facilities should be provided for a community of 50,000 and suggest how these should be funded.
A new national charitable sports foundation should be created similar to NESTA. It would be called the English Sports Foundation. It will be funded by the lottery, sponsorship, a sports tax on professional sports tv rights and the government.
Its role will be to create a new structure for sport from the cradle to the grave. Increasing participation can really only work if the responsibility is given to local Sports hubs based on sports clubs. They will be invited to bid for a ten year licence.
For instance Charlton Athletic which regularly wins awards for its community programme could bid to run all sports in Greenwich ditto Essex Cricket Club for sports in Chelmsford; ditto Loughborough University for Loughborough; ditto Millfield for South Somerset; ditto Newcastle Falcons for Newcastle. There is no one solution just best practice. There may even be rival bids involving clubs and school; so be it.
A new Sports fund will be created as part of the ESF. It will take over theresponsibility of primary and secondary school sport. Physical Education teachers will be gradually relocated to the local sports hubs. School children will have the chance to play sport in a competitive environment coached by professionals who will be contracted to the hub to service schools, clubs, housing associations, the elderly, CCGs and GP surgeries. Obesity targets will be set. Prescriptions will be given for exercise.
This could be the biggest shake up in sport and health. Its time has come.