Job search
Job Search

Andy Reed: Clear communication to government

Rather than producing endless reports that sing the praises of physical activity, we need to improve the way we present this evidence to government, says Andy Reed

Published in Sports Management 2018 issue 2
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
We know that physical activity is good for us, but are we convincing government? / © shutterstock/blurAZ
We know that physical activity is good for us, but are we convincing government?/ © shutterstock/blurAZ

Reports are launched regularly showing that physical activity is good for us, is cost effective and would save the nation billions. So why are so few policy makers listening to this message?

At the Sports Think Tank we receive reports, evidence, brochures and academic reports daily. But rather than producing report after report that all say the same thing, perhaps we need to work out whether they are making the right impact.

How much systematic change has actually been embedded in policy making as a result of these reports? We know the answer is not a lot. The isolated pockets of good practise remain small and insignificant. In many cases, such as in schools, we are going backwards.

A unified message
We have to remember, of course, that we are not lobbying in a vacuum. Other interests are rightly making their cases too for the limited investment available.

There is so much to be gained by unifying our message and realising that we all have a role to play in this massive task. I am afraid that too often, individual sectors believe they alone hold the solution. Can we be really honest and say there aren’t lots of different avenues to getting the nation more active?

But we continue to mix our messages. Too many still talk about sport and physical activity and obesity in the same breath. A physical activity strategy isn’t about tackling obesity – far more of that battle will be won by tackling diet and nutrition. Physical activity is a public good and ukactive has been good at making sure we focus on that.

Better evidence
We talk about saving the NHS billions, but even here I have seen so many conflicting figures – from £2bn a year to £50bn a year by 2050. Do these figures have any practical meaning to an NHS that’s struggling to get A&E patients through its doors?

We also need much smarter, deeper analysis and evidence. What counts as ‘evidence’ is all too often created in isolation compared to other investments the government could make – even if it had the money.

But just as crucially, we then need to have a consistent and long-term approach to our messaging and advocacy into government. It’s time to learn how to unify as a sector and work much harder on our collective lobbying.

Let’s stop gathering backslapping reports and concentrate on effectively changing government policy and the public attitude to physical activity. Let’s create a movement that will gain attention outside our own sector.

Andy Reed is the founder of Sports Think Tank, former MP for Loughborough, and chair of SAPCA sportsthinktank.com

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
Sports jobs
Everyone Active
featured job

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide, United Kingdom

Leisure Assistant

Active Lifestyle Centres
Salary: £7.90- £8.45
Location: Bristol, UK

Cover Duty Manager

Active Lifestyle Centres
Salary: £9.80 per hour
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Leisure Assistant x2

Active Lifestyle Centres
Salary: £7.90- £8.45
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Spa Therapists

Beaverbrook Hotel
Salary: OTE £27,000-£32,000
Location: Surrey, UK

Leisure Assistant (fixed term)

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £7.90 - £8.45
Location: Bristol, UK

Club General Manager

énergie group
Salary: Competitive
Location: Winchester, UK

Club General Manager

énergie group
Salary: £35,000 - £40,000 OTE
Location: Winchester, UK

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Hatfield, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Hatfield, UK
recruiting with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Hatfield, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Hatfield, UK

Trainee Business Development Manager

énergie fitness
Salary:
Location: Jarrow, UK

Sales Manager

énergie fitness
Salary: 20-24
Location: Jarrow, UK

Club Manager

énergie fitness
Salary:
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Club Manager

énergie fitness
Salary: 24000-27000
Location: north east

Head Chef

Parkwood Leisure
Salary:
Location: Buxton, UK
recruiting with sports management

Fitness Instructor

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £7.83 per hour
Location: Brackley, UK

Sales Advisor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: East Hertfordshire District, UK

General Manager - Climbing Centre

The Climbing Hangar
Salary: £28,000 -33,000 + bonus
Location: Plymouth, UK

Receptionist

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: £7.83 per hour
Location: Bristol, UK

Recreation Assistant

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: £7.10 - £8.10 per hour
Location: Bristol, UK

Duty Manager - Fitness

Lex Leisure
Salary:
Location: Nottingham, UK

Duty Manager - Fitness

Lex Leisure
Salary:
Location: Nottingham, UK
training with sports management

Innovation Manager - DAD

Women in Sport
Salary: £32,000 per annum
Location: London, UK

Innovation Manager - DAD

Women in Sport
Salary: £32,000 per annum
Location: London, UK

IT Service Desk Analyst

Mytime Active
Salary: £16000 - £20000 per annum
Location: Kent, England, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary:
Location: Thornton Heath, South London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary:
Location: Thornton Heath, South London

Facilities Officer

Swim England
Salary: £31,393 - £35,700 depending upon experience
Location: Loughborough, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: Tadworth, Surrey
lifeguard jobs  Swimming Teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  Swimming Instructor jobs  membership consultant jobs  fitness instructor jobs  general manager jobs  General Assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  Customer Advisor jobs  Leisure Assistant jobs  Sports Coordinator jobs  personal trainer jobs 
More jobs

Video Gallery

Fitness On Demand
No More Empty Studios. Seriously. Fitness On Demand™ Virtual Group Fitness.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Charles Lawrence
Charles Lawrence Surfaces has been at the forefront of the artificial sports surfacing industry since 1975, making it one of the most respected and long established names within the sector.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

EXF chosen by Third Space to supply storage and functional rig solutions
EXF has been awarded a new contract with luxury London Health Club group, Third Space.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: Lee Valley VeloPark
Company: Lee Valley Regional Park
Location: White Rocks, Hastings
Company: GVA
Location:
Company: Gravesham Borough Council
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

27-27 Nov 2018
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
05-06 Dec 2018
Palexpo Convention Center, Geneva, Switzerland
22-24 Jan 2019
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
28-29 Jan 2019
Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, Stansted, United Kingdom
More diary dates