“Councils are helping people get out and about and become more physically active on a daily basis, but we need support to look at what works best and has the biggest impact."
Responding to the Sports Minister’s announcement of a £100 million investment in 12 pilot areas at the LGA Sport and Physical Activity conference today, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“Councils are helping people get out and about and become more physically active on a daily basis, but we need support to look at what works best and has the biggest impact. These pilots offer a fresh approach to how Sport England can work with local authorities and their partners on the ground to reach out to the quarter of the population who struggle to be active.
“There is huge ambition within local government to break down the barriers for those in their communities who cannot take part in sport or physical exercise. Sport England’s extension of these pilots from 10 to 12 will bring these benefits to more people and a greater chance to find out what really does and doesn’t work. Sport England’s strategy pledged to spend £130 million on these pilots so we will be seeking assurances that the £30 million not announced today will also be allocated to local areas as originally set out.
“Previous approaches to investment in sports participation has not produced the results hoped for and this new funding for 12 pilot areas is an opportunity to fundamentally rethink how we engage people in getting active, with potential to expand this to all council areas. If successful, this will provide a major long-term cost saving for the country, preventing the need for treatment further down the line which places significant extra pressure on the NHS and social care.”