Government backs Premiership Rugby’s participation programme

Girls playing rugby

Minister for Sport Helen Grant MP last month announced her backing of Premiership Rugby’s new programme, which aims to encourage more women, black and minority ethnic communities to get involved in rugby union.

Premiership Rugby was awarded £600,000 by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in September, in a bid to encourage participation and ‘help impart rugby’s ethos of teamwork, discipline, enjoyment, respect and sportsmanship’.

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Nominations for Pride of Sports Awards close soon

Football team coachSport England have this year teamed up with the Daily Mirror to celebrate the local heroes of community sport with the ‘Pride of Sport’ Awards.

Nominations are now open for the awards, which promote grassroots sports and seek to recognise the achievements of those who volunteer their time to bettering community sport in England.

Award categories include the Lifetime Achievement Award, Young Sports Person, Coach/Manager, Volunteer, Local Team, Sporting Charity challenge, Disability Sport Award and Sporting Event.

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Department for Education releases PE and Sport Premium report

Primary School Sport and PE

The Department for Education has released the first report from its ongoing research into the PE and Sport Premium in UK primary schools. The research has thus far been based on around 600 interviews with the key decision makers, and looks into PE spending and provision in schools.

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Public Health England consultation: Everybody Active, Every Day

Women RunningPublic Health England (PHE) has been seeking views in its latest consultation: Everybody Active, Every Day, a new national physical activity implementation framework.

The framework will seek to provide a complete national approach to tackle physical activity, which is the fourth major risk factor for chronic diseases or preventable cause of death in the UK.

The consultation has been considering how the framework could support local leaders to work in partnership and provide evidence of what works in getting the public active.

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Sport England tool shows local economic value of sport

Sports People

Sport England has announced a new economic modelling tool, designed to showcase the economic benefits of sport to local communities.

Developed by Cambridge Econometrics and SQW, the ‘Economic value of sport – local model’, is able to provide local authority areas, county sport partnerships, and local enterprise partnerships with an idea of how sport contributes to each area’s local economy. It also indicates the contribution made by businesses and services that support those people playing sport, and the value of wider interests in sport, for example, sports broadcasting.

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New outdoor activity research project unveiled

Girl using a Fitness Trail stationThe Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) has received a lottery award to fund extensive research into the outdoor physical activity market, helping the outdoor industry to discover how to both retain, and attract new participants to outdoor activity.

The OIA will work in collaboration with Sport England to sync existing research with current activity in order to provide a detailed analysis of the sector. The project will be split into several phases, the first of which is to be completed by January 2015. This phase will focus on identifying gaps in the market, and noting opportunities for expansion.

Commenting on how the collaboration will benefit the outdoor sport industry, Sport England’s Director of Insight, Lisa O’Keefe said: “Our partnership with the OIA will give Sport England and the outdoor sector greater scope to make improvements in the levels of participation for regular outdoor sport and activity. By partnering with the OIA and bringing together partners, we can start to share insight, develop networks and explore partnerships in order to increase participation.”



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Report suggests policies to improve urban green spaces

A Policy Exchange think tank report has made suggestions for policy that will improve the UK’s urban green spaces.

Woman using an outdoor fitness/trim trail

The ‘Green Society: Policies to improve the UK’s urban green spaces‘ highlights the importance of urban spaces to the social and economic well-being of the whole country, discussing the fact that they provide free space for exercise, socialising, and relaxation, all of which can improve both physical and mental health.

The report makes recommendations surrounding Council Tax Rebates for those who volunteer to improve green spaces, the possibility of ecotherapy being recommended by GPs, park levies, and developer endowments.

Fitness or trim trails can really help to bring more people into the UK’s green spaces and out of the gym. Such trails are a great way of giving people the same kind of work out as a gym would, but without the need for extra equipment. Trail users use their own bodyweight to create a resistance against the trail equipment, giving themselves a good workout whilst taking in the great outdoors.

Dr Katherine Drayson, author of the report comments: “Britain’s parks are the lungs of our great cities. They are an oasis of calm and tranquillity in an increasingly fast-moving world.

“However, as local authority budgets have been squeezed, public funding for parks… has declined sharply.”



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Get your football pitch ready with

With the new football season under way and attracting attention from the media and the school holidays coming to a close, now is the time to make sure your football pitch is ready for the winter season.

Today, we’ll run through a quick checklist of what needs checking and updating…

Get your football pitch ready - with

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Product Spotlight: Harrod UK’s new County Cricket Net System

Harrod UK's new 'County Cricket Net System'

One of Harrod UK’s new products for 2014, the County Cricket Net System has been designed to create a professional, highly affordable, non-permanent cricket net system that is perfect for use in clubs and schools.

Today we’ll look at the excellent County Cricket Net System in a little more detail.

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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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