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19 Jan 2024 | 16:16

Shadow Sports Minister Stephanie Peacock MP met this week with national sector partners to discuss how Labour can harness the impact of sport, recreation and physical activity to create a happier, healthier and more prosperous nation in the event of a change of Government.

Our sector has the power to change lives and help address key priorities relieving NHS pressures, breaking down barriers to opportunity, strengthening local communities and boosting economic growth.

By offering opportunities to be active across our communities and schools, our sector already saves the NHS £9.5billion through preventing illness and generates £85billion by boosting wellbeing, empowering communities and generating economic activity. But a third of people living in the UK remain inactive and already stark inequalities are widening.

A radical shift in how we look at improving the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the nation must be at the heart of any future Government’s plans, and the role of sport, recreation and physical activity is integral to this. We must make it easier for people to play, move and be active in any way they choose by ensuring sport, recreation and physical activity is accessible and affordable for everyone. This must be based on a cross-governmental approach, given the potential of grassroots sport and physical activity to provide national solutions in so many of the Government’s priority areas and responsibilities.

Our country needs impactful solutions to rapidly support its renewal. The sector is committed to play its fullest role, but it requires leaders to have the ambition to unlock its potential. We welcome the engagement from the Shadow Sport Minister and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the shadow Labour team on their plans for our sector.

About the National Sector Partners Group 

This statement is issued on behalf of a group of lead representative bodies from across the sport, recreation and physical activity sectors: 

Through our collaborative work as sector partners, we aim to engage decision-makers to improve the operating landscape for the sector and embed sport, recreation and physical activity as a key contributor to wider public policy objectives. 

As part of wider work through the National Sector Partners Group (NSPG), we published Unlocking the Potential which sets out how sport, recreation and physical activity can be integral to successfully delivering a number of key Government priorities including Levelling Up, driving economic growth, achieving Net Zero and supporting the NHS. The report also proposes a range of systemic interventions including access to investment, tax and regulatory changes and wider policy reform which the group believes are key to maximising this role.