Job search
Job Search

Thought leaders: Andy Reed column: Rio Success Is Masking Underlying Issues

The medals may have come thick and fast, but sport needs to coordinate itself better to safeguard its future

by Andy Reed | Published in Sports Management Sep 2016 issue 126
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Investment in medals is masking problems in school and community sports provision / image ©: julien behal / press association
Investment in medals is masking problems in school and community sports provision/ image ©: julien behal / press association

As the warm glow of our success at the Olympics starts to mellow into the longer autumn evenings, it does feel as though we’ve lived through the most extraordinary summer for sport and sports politics.

Starting in June with Brexit, and the quick succession of our new PM and her cabinet, followed by the Olympics and Paralympics, it has been easy to forget the day-to-day reality that shapes our local communities and the sport and physical activity agenda we all aspire to deliver.

The warm glow created by our amazing Rio success has led to many from outside the sector assuming all is well if Team GB can come second in the medals table ahead of China. Yet many commentators and practitioners are keenly aware that of course there is still work to be done.

There has always been one ask from the sports lobby – and that is for a joined up approach from government in its sport and physical activity strategy and inter-departmental working inside government. This is much tougher to achieve than many believe, but I now worry that Rio success masks a series of tough underlying issues which could impact on long-term success.

The issues
The long awaited obesity strategy was launched during the recess and in the middle of the Olympics in Rio. This timing smacks of burying bad news. The strategy has been universally underwhelming and seen as a missed opportunity.

In my June column I said I was surprised by the interventionist tone taken on the Sugar Levy and by George Osbourne’s strategy in the Budget.

Our new PM signalled her intention early on – by sacking Osborne – that it won’t be business as usual and the watered down strategy is our first sight of what a May government might look like.

Elsewhere, the sports system needs to offer better coordination – from early years physical literacy, and fun experience of sport, to a competitive structure and decent levels of PE which extend through Key Stage 4.

My CSP review found very few people committed to the delivery of excellence in primary school PE and sport.

A PE teacher friend told me recently his hours have been cut and he’ll be teaching information and communication technologies for half of his time this year.

This kind of uncoordinated and unstructured approach doesn’t create a solid foundation – especially if the amount of investment is to be doubled in 2018 by the Sugar Levy.

In local communities, facilities and clubs will ‘struggle on’ this winter against a backdrop of further local government cuts. These may not actually be in sport, but youth service cuts are putting a strain on other areas of public expenditure.

Like cutting sports spending, these are false economies and mean other parts of society have to pick up the pieces.

So we should celebrate our elite Rio success for what is was – investment in a system to deliver gold medals – but the challenge ahead will be to use this inspiration to garner support in Whitehall for the changes needed to create a proper school, community facilities and elite legacy. All are dependent on each other.

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

Swimming Teachers

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive hourly rate
Job location: Nationwide

Operations Development Manager

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary:
Location: Thornbury, South Gloucestershire, UK

Casual Contact Centre Advisor

Circadian Leisure Trust
Salary: £6.77 - £8.21
Location: Yate, Bristol, UK

Sales Lead

Enable Leisure & Culture
Salary: Competitive salary plus commission
Location: Wandsworth, London, UK

Leisure Assistant

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Chorley, Lancashire, UK

Kitchen Assistant

Lex Leisure
Salary: Competitive
Location: Chorley, Lancashire, UK

Fitness Professional

Mytime Active
Salary: Up to £7,685 per annum
Location: Bromley, UK

Duty Manager

Gedling Borough Council
Salary: Band 5: £21,166 - £22,462 pa
Location: Nottingham, UK

Duty Supervisor (Leisure and Community)

Welwyn Hatfield Council
Salary: £21,362 - £23,121 pa inclusive of Outer Fringe Allowance
Location: Hatfield, UK

General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: Competitive salary plus benefits
Location: Essex, UK
recruiting with sports management

Group Head of Aquatics

Water Babies
Salary: Competitive Salary + benefits
Location: Devon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,696 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Cockermouth, Cumbria, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Woodstock, Oxfordshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata
Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum (39 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £18,305 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK
recruiting with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £8.21 per hour
Location: Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,696 pa (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Taunton, Somerset, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 per annum
Location: Leyton, London, UK
training with sports management

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.55 per hour
Location: Leyton, London, UK

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,008 pa (40 hours a week pro rata)
Location: Stratford, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,696 pa (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Swindon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £9.00 per hour
Location: Bath, UK

Recreation Assistant

Mytime Active
Salary: £17,076 per annum pro rata
Location: Bromley, UK

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £23,894 per annum
Location: Crystal Palace, London, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,696 pa (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Kendal, UK
lifeguard jobs  Swimming Teacher jobs  apprenticeships jobs  recreation assistant jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  membership consultant jobs  Swimming Instructor jobs  general manager jobs  General Assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  fitness instructor jobs  Leisure Assistant jobs  Customer Advisor jobs  Club Manager jobs  Team Leader 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
BSW: BSW is a manufacturer of sports floorings, sports mats, gym flooring, elastomer products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, anti-slip mats for securing loads as well as protective and separating layers.
BSW
More catalogues

Video Gallery

Myzone
Tracking your workout effort just became effortless.
Visit website
More videos

Company profile

Company profile: Taylor Made Designs
Taylor Made Designs (TMD) supplies all manner of uniform, workwear, performance clothing, PPE and branded merchandise, looking after teams from all departments including gym floor staff, teachers, catering, maintenance, front of house, outreach, corporate wear, swim teachers, PTs and more.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

TRX MAPS offers complete body movement assessment solution
TRX MAPS, powered by PHYSMODO, performs a complete body movement assessment in less than 30 seconds to provide a person with personalised exercises.
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside
Company: Wirral Borough Council
Location: Various Sites
Company: Porters Commercial
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

05-10 May 2019
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland, Australia
08-09 May 2019
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
08-09 May 2019
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
10-12 May 2019
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
More diary dates