Government unveils new report into women and sport

Women playing hockey

A report into women and sport last month has been unveiled by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The report, based on recommendations from a recent inquiry, highlights concerns about the implications low participation rates by women and girls may have upon long-term health.

Highlighting statistics from a variety of sources, the report shows that whether comparison is made by ethnic group, income status or age, women and girls are far less likely to participate in sport than men and boys. Girls are also shown to give up participation in sport at an earlier age, and are less likely to continue participating in sport into adulthood.

Also noted was that many girls are put off participating sport at an early age, following negative experiences in school sport lessons.

The report suggests that a more imaginative approach is key to increasing engagement. Notably, the Committee recommends co-operation with other providers to make a wider range of sports activities available, better training for PE teachers, and a more equally division of finance between boys’ and girls’ sport.

Sallie Barker, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance commented on the report: “We welcome the broad and far-reaching recommendations that this report is making, many of which reflect what the Alliance has long called for and outlined in our evidence to the inquiry.

“Making school sport more accessible for girls and promoting physical activities other than competitive sport are just some of the recommendations we think would make a clear difference, as is the need to look at how we open up more leadership positions in sport to women.”
 
 

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New sports facilities guide released

Kids Playing FootballA new document that aids those delivering local sports facilities has been created by Sport England.

The ‘Assessing Needs and Opportunities Guide for Indoor and Outdoor Sports Facilities’ gives recommendations for the assessment of the need for indoor and outdoor sports facilities in local areas.

The guide has been created for use by local authorities as well as sports governing bodies, schools, sports clubs, providers of facilities and developers, all of whom may have cause to assess the need of a facility. It is designed to help these groups understand the need for sports facilities, and how to improve the provision of facilities.

Commenting on the guide, Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston said: “We believe that providing the right facilities in the right places is key to maintaining and getting more people playing sport. The new guide will help give a clear understanding of what facilities are needed in an area and ensure those responsible for the development and investment in sports facilities have sound information on which to base their decision.”

A copy of the new guidance can be downloaded here.
 
 

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Number of people playing sport reaches record high

Runners at Start Line

New figures published by the Active People Survey show that more people are playing sport regularly than ever before.

The figures, which cover the period spanning from April 2013 to April 2014, show increased participation in all age groups, with the most notable growth coming from young people (aged 16-25). 3.9 million 16-25 year olds now play sport regularly – an increase of 153,000 in the last six months.

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Commonwealth Games venue transformation a triumph

Hampden ParkGlasgow’s Hampden Park football stadium was successfully transformed to provide an arena for both the track and field events and the closing ceremony at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

The normal playing surface was temporarily lifted by over 6 feet to create an IAAF approved athletics track supported by structural steel tilts. This is the first time that this sort of technical innovation has been used in the delivery of a world class athletics event.

Further to this, warm up track and jump areas were created next to the stadium at Lesser Hampden.

At one time the largest football stadium in the world, Hampden Park is a five star graded football venue, and is home to the Scottish national football team.

Commenting on the transformation, Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said: “The spectacular transformation of Hampden Park from iconic football stadium to world-class athletics venue is an achievement of which Glasgow and Scotland can be justifiably proud.

“This is a world-first solution in a great venue, creating an excellent sporting field of play.”
 
 

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Universities across the UK gain £10m of Sport England funding

University sport

54 universities across the country will receive a share of £10 million of National Lottery investment from Sport England’s University Sport Activation Fund, giving nearly 180,000 new students the opportunity to play sport regularly.

Currently, only 52% of higher education students participate in sporting activity at least once a week. The new funding will ensure that projects get the funding to increase this level of participation, by offering a wider range of opportunities and trialling new methods of getting students into sport.

Commenting on the funding, Karen Rothery of British Universities & Colleges Sport said “Universities have really risen to the challenge to increase sport participation, firstly through Active Universities, and now through the University Sport Activation Fund. We at BUCS are delighted that our work with Sport England over the past five years has resulted in such a success story, and are confident that we will continue to enhance the student experience through sport in many creative ways throughout the life of the University Sport Activation Fund delivery.”
 
 

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Youth Sport Trust launches school sport survey

Cross country runners

The Youth Sport Trust has launched a new survey into PE and school sport after concerns were raised that there is a ‘postcode lottery’ of provision.

The survey will be the first since 2010, and hopes to fill the void of information on the provision of sport, activity levels of pupils, and current trends in physical education, activity and school sport.

The Youth Sport Trust survey will aim to identify differences in provision across the UK and will give schools the opportunity to compare their performance with others.

Schools will have received their survey in the last week of June.

John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust comments on the reasoning behind the survey, “we do have significant concerns that the level of provision across the country is not consistent, which could be resulting in a postcode lottery of provision. Our survey will investigate this as it risks leaving some young people without the high-quality experience they deserve.

“It is crucial that we play a key role in improving physical activity rates amongst young people and there couldn’t be a more important time for us to investigate the current levels of PE and sport in schools.”
 
 

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Ofsted report criticises state school provision of competitive sport

Competitive Sports

An Ofsted report, ‘Going the extra mile: Excellence in competitive school sport’, has raised concerns over the provision of competitive sport in state schools.

The report was commissioned following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and aimed to discover why the majority of Team GB athletes were educated in private schools.

The report, which includes data collected from over 500 head teachers and 1,000 11-18 year olds, discovered that the majority of state school heads felt that competitive sport was optional, with only 13% stating that all children were expected to take part.

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Call for examples of good practice in increasing physical activity

Public Health England has issued a call for examples of good and promising practice on increasing physical activity in local communities, in order to inform the National Physical Activity Implementation Framework.

Kids playing footballWorking for Public Health England, the ukactive Research Institute and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine are searching for projects and programmes that have positively impacted on the increase in levels of physical activity in local communities.

The review will prove an insight into what works when trying to get people more active, and so an open to call to all organisations, groups and individuals working to increase physical activity has been issued.

If you think your sports group or club could be a good example, evidence must be submitted before 5pm on Friday 18th July.

For more information contact StevenMann@ukactive.org.uk or visit the Sport and Recreation Alliance website.
 
 

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PE shake-up to challenge under 11′s

PE Lesson

Specialist PE teachers are to be sent into primary schools across the UK, following research that shows many school sports lessons do not currently meet governmental standards.

Over 100 specialist PE teachers will be employed by state primary schools this September in order to give pupils under the age of 11 access to exercise sessions, healthy living advice, and competitive sports.

This announcement follows the chair of the Youth Sport Trust, Baroness Sue Campbell’s warning that PE in primary schools has become little more than playtime. Baroness Campbell noted that improvements were necessary in order to cut childhood obesity rates, boost ‘physical literacy’ and improve pupils’ confidence.

Further to this new measure, the government has pledged to invest £150 million in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 to improve the overall standard of physical education in primary schools.

 

 

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‘Concussion in sport’ discussed by major sporting bodies

Concussion in SportWhilst sport is undoubtedly fun, whether played by a grass roots group or a national team, there is always a risk of injury. Concussion can be experienced in all types of sport, contact or non-contact and can have serious repercussions if untreated.

The issue of concussion has come to the fore in recent years, with major sporting bodies meeting last month (May) to discuss raising awareness of the issue.

The Sport and Recreating Alliance played host to representatives from the English Lacrosse Association, England Basketball, British American Football Association, British Eventing, British Cycling, British Equestrian Federation and the Rugby Football Union.

The meeting aimed to raise awareness of concussion, and create a consistency in the medical advice, reporting, guidelines and suspension times across the board.

Commenting on the meeting, James Allen of the Sport and Recreation Alliance said:

“Concussion is a cross-sport issue which must be taken seriously. Many of our members already have excellent systems in place to keep their participants as safe as possible and it’s fantastic that they have been forthcoming in sharing their knowledge.

“The more sporting organisations understand concussion, and how other sports are dealing with it, the better equipped they will be to ensure their own participants safety.”

 

 

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