Job search
Job Search

Thought leader: Andy Reed on the importance of team sports

Promoting individual activity at the expense of team sports would be a mistake, says Andy Reed

by Andy Reed | Published in Sports Management Jul Aug 2017 issue 132
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Team sports create social capital, says Reed / © shutterstock/Pedro Monteiro
Team sports create social capital, says Reed/ © shutterstock/Pedro Monteiro

We know there’s a wide spectrum from inactivity to elite sport, with people choosing a level that suits them. We also know that too many have chosen levels of inactivity that are dangerous to their health, with inactivity now the fourth biggest killer in Britain.

This has prompted a shift in focus from encouraging sport to simply tackling inactivity. But while sport may not be a solution for everyone, I am a firm advocate of team sport because I believe it creates social capital, as well as physical and mental wellbeing.

Yet policy drift seems to indicate a belief that individual sports and activities are easier to deliver. To make things worse, there have been a series of controversies in team sports that have rocked the sector, such as: concussion in rugby, corruption in football and athletics, bullying in cycling and overall historic abuse scandals and doping.

Hopefully Tanni Grey Thompson’s Duty of Care report will start to restore confidence in sports teams, and encourage parents to get their children involved in sport once again.

No time for teams
My own experience at local level rugby and those of friends in football, hockey and cricket are that the lower leagues of these sports are struggling. Is the base of team sport slowly dying underneath our noses?

There seems to be a need for variants that fit in with our busy, modern lifestyles. Some sports have been innovative in their offer. But we must constantly change and adapt to keep up with societal changes.

I’m a typical 50-something-year-old sports consumer – a gym session mid-week, rugby training once a week, a home bike and a rugby game at the weekend. But many don’t have the luxury to fit these things into their lives. Shift work and zero hours contracts mean most people don’t lead a typical 9-5 existence in the UK.

Worth saving
In last month’s general election manifestos, sport hardly received a mention – with just one sentence from the Tories about backing a Commonwealth Games bid for the 2022 Games. We seem to have slipped a long way down the political agenda since 2012.

So, is team sport dead? I certainly hope it’s not yet. I would hate to see a situation in the UK where we have professional team sports drawing huge crowds but nobody playing those same sports in their local communities. There’s only so much that sports bodies can do to halt this decline in the face of new social trends, but I’m sure that with investment in the right facilities, along with greater flexibility and experimentation, we can hold onto team sport and in return enjoy increased social capital and community engagement.

Andy Reed is a former MP for Loughborough, the founder of Sports Think Tank 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

Operations Manager

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: Circa £22,000 dependant on qualifications and experience
Location: Thetford, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary:
Location: Surrey, UK

Recreation Assistant

GLL
Salary:
Location: Surrey, UK

Duty Manager

Love Withington Baths
Salary: £18,400 - £19,200
Location: Withington, Manchester, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Kentish Town, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata
Location: West Norwood, South London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Swiss Cottage, North West London

Duty Officer- Grade 4

London South Bank University
Salary: £24,192 - £26,557 (per annum, pro-rata) inc London Weighting
Location: South Bank, London, UK

Apprenticeships

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
recruiting with sports management

Membership Consultant

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, UK

Duty Manager

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive salary
Location: Fleet, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £7.96 per hour
Location: Penrith, Cumbria

Recreation Assistant

GLL
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Didcot, UK

Qualified Gym Consultant

Stars Gym
Salary:
Location: Battersea, London, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Chesham, Buckinghamshire

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

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

Leisure Assistant

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £7.90- £8.45 per hour
Location: Bradley Stoke, Bristol, UK

Sport & Physical Activity Officer

Enable Leisure & Culture
Salary: £27,054 per annum
Location: Wandsworth, London, UK

Sports Assistant

Enable Leisure & Culture
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Wandsworth, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,187 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Penrith, Cumbria, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.75 per hour
Location: Manchester, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum (40 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Kensington, West London

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £6.80- £7.83 per hour
Location: Windsor, UK
training with sports management

Recreational Assistant & Swimming Teacher

Legacy Leisure
Salary: Up to £20,000 per annum
Location: Windsor, UK

General Manager

Inspiring healthy lifestyles
Salary: Circa £32,000 - £36,000
Location: Selby, UK

Gymnastics Coach

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive
Location: Poole, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

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

Dry Side Leisure Assistant

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.75 per hour
Location: Bath, Somerset

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £17,806 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,471 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Bath, UK
lifeguard jobs  swimming teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Swimming instructor jobs  duty manager jobs  personal trainer jobs  front of house jobs  Team Leader jobs  Chef jobs 
More jobs

Catalogue Gallery

JP Lennard: Leading supplier to Commercial Swimming Pools, Leisure Centres, Health & Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Holiday Parks, Schools and Universities, supplying thousands of products directly into these sectors.
JPL
More catalogues

Video Gallery

Myzone
Tracking your workout effort just became effortless.
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

Escape launches Master Trainer programme
In a first of its kind event, Escape Fitness has launched its worldwide Master Trainer programme.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: White Rocks, Hastings
Company: GVA
Location:
Company: Gravesham Borough Council
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

22-23 Sep 2018
Worldwide,
24-27 Sep 2018
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, United States
29-30 Sep 2018
SEC Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
04-05 Oct 2018
Heythrop Park Resort, Enstone, United Kingdom
More diary dates