The next four years are pivotal. Increased time, expertise and in excess of £250 million pounds will be invested to tackle inactivity across the United Kingdom. In order to achieve the necessary changes in behaviour, Sport England are putting you, the customer at the heart of everything they do. We are told that we will see a change in culture from both central and local government departments with a fresh approach to sharing core information and strategies regards the success and failures of their new and existing projects. Community groups will be handed increased power and support with their decision making and the private sector will be encouraged to create inspiring sports facilities whilst providing strong career opportunities for apprentices and graduates.
In December 2015 after lengthy public consultation, Tracey Crouch - Sports Minister introduced the much anticipated Sporting Future document. This was quickly followed by Towards An Active Nation introduced in May 2016 by Sport England. The embedded strategies now form the blue print to how the country can come together to ensure that we improve on the alarming figures of inactivity across our nation. The strategies form the foundation for a new and exciting future. They quite rightly challenge our thinking, approach and commitment and ask our leaders to embrace new ways of working to develop active communities for all. For the first time the sector will now put not just what we invest in, but why we invest, at the heart of its work.
Our annual Why Sports conference will focus on putting this new policy into practice. Delivered in association with London Sport and supported by many other leading organisations, we will focus on the progress of the Sporting Future - Towards an Active Nation strategy, analysing achievements, observing what we have learned and identifying how we can work together to ensure increased activity. Achievement of these outcomes will mean significant change for Sport England and for the variety of sectors linked to delivery.
Sport England will be the the single largest national investor in projects that will tackle inactivity and their success will be defined by the progress in the following seven key principles.
- Tackling inactivity to help the 28 percent of people in England that don't take part in any sport or physical activity.
- Dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five.
- Working with the sports sector to put customers at the heart of everything they do. Focussing on the sports that inspire a nation and get people active.
- Creating new welcoming sports facilities, prioritising multi sport facilities.
- Investing up to £30 million in a new volunteering strategy.
- Finding new ways of working locally by investing in up to 10 places in England - a mix of urban and rural areas.
- Working closely with the governing bodies of sport to help them to become more efficient, sustainable and to diversify their sources of funding.
Why Sports 2017 will be delivered in association with London Sport and will work to embed London Sports vision for London to become the most physically active city in the world. The conference will host strong presentations and debate the progress of the challenge, whilst enabling transferable knowledge to be shared and collective visions to be delivered upon from across a wide range of sectors.