Job search
Job Search

Interview: Tom Pursglove MP, Grassroots Parliamentarian of the Year

MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire

Published in Sports Management Oct 2016 issue 127
Read on turning pages | Download PDF of this issue
Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire
Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire

Tom Pursglove, MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, has been recognised as the Grassroots Parliamentarian of the Year by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Pursglove – who at the age of 27 is currently the youngest Conservative MP sitting in the House of Commons – picked up the recognition for his work to promote grassroots sport and recreation in Parliament as well as in his local constituency.

Pursglove, a vice chair of the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for sport, has been championing grassroots sport and recreation in Westminster by initiating debates on physical activity in an educational setting and by recognising the value of volunteers. He has also launched two private member’s bills, both which looked to hand communities more control over their parks and playing grounds when faced with the threat of spaces for sport being sold off against their wishes.

“I passionately believe that getting things right at grassroots level is good for all levels of sport,” Pursglove told Sports Management magazine. “Elite sport in this country is fuelled and supported by the grassroots.

“Grassroots sport is also crucial for the health and wellbeing benefits it can offer – as well as the personal development of young people. I think being part of something, a part of a team, is incredibly important and all of those life skills which flow from that.

“I’m a passionate sportsman myself and – having swam competitively up to the age of 16 and as a keen cricketer to this day – I can say that playing sport offers such a brilliant learning experience, especially when it comes to getting to know different people and playing for each other.

“Those are really important things and I think for our youngsters in particular, to have some of those opportunities is incredibly important – it’s good for them, it’s good for their community and it’s also good for society in general.”

SIGN-POSTING
Pursglove adds that in order for young people to be physically active, it is crucial to ensure they are presented with enough possibilities to take part – and to communicate the options clearly to them.

“I think it’s all about providing opportunities locally,” he says. “It’s all about young people having good PE experiences and then making sure there is the right sign-posting in place to support those experiences. We need to ensure those who get a taste and enjoy a particular sport at school – or are particularly good at it – are given the support they need to join a local club.”

Pursglove also highlights the quality of facilities as a key point in order to secure a healthy future for local sport. “One of the things that we’ve got to do is to think outside the box and try and find ways in which we can invest in our sporting infrastructure,” he says.

“If you have great facilities, it’s an enormous pull factor for people to want to come and get involved – whether young people or adults. So for me, it’s important that we constantly think of new and different ways of protecting our existing facilities and also making sure that there are the investment opportunities in new facilities.”

BREXIT – NO WORRIES
Pursglove’s passion for sport is matched by his passion for the UK to leave the European Union. He was a founder member of the Grassroots Out campaign alongside veteran MP Peter Bone and campaigned actively during the run up to the referendum.

As Brexit became a reality, there were fears that the decision to leave the EU might end up having an adverse impact on the UK’s sports industry. Not so, according to Pursglove.

“I’ve never quite bought into the argument that sport will be adversely affected by our decision to leave,” he says. “For one, there’s a lot of red tape and bureaucracy which gets in the way of our businesses at the moment – particularly small businesses – many of which don’t do any business with the EU but are still bound up by the red tape.

“My view on this is that we can be really optimistic about the trade possibilities which will be opening up to us in the near future – including sport. We’re already seeing enormous interest in countries wanting to sign free trade agreements with us – Australia have already announced their desire to do so alongside New Zealand.  

“As for elite sport and fears over free movement of people, the government is now in a position where it will enter negotiations over the details of how we will leave the EU. I have every confidence that the government will do everything in their powers to deal with any issues potentially affecting sport. It wouldn’t benefit our economy to not get that right so I don’t see any danger there at all.”

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

Group Cycling Instructor

Everyone Active
Salary: Competitive rate of pay
Location: London, UK

Recreation Assistant

Parkwood Leisure
Salary: £8.10
Location: Bristol BS14, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: Barnet

Centre Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £27,000
Location: Exeter

Sports and Recreation Attendant

Global Spa and Wellness Leader
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Location: United Kingdom

Lifeguard

Global Spa and Wellness Leader
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Location: United Kingdom

Fitness Instructor

Global Spa and Wellness Leader
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Location: United Kingdom

Sport and Recreation Coordinator

Global Spa and Wellness Leader
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Location: United Kingdom

Sports and Recreation Manager (Fitness Manager)

Global Spa and Wellness Leader
Salary: Competitive and negotiable
Location: United Kingdom
recruiting with sports management

Deputy Chief Executive / Director of Business

Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust
Salary: Excellent salary and benefit package
Location: Gloucester, UK

Operations Manager

Live Active Leisure
Salary: £29,488 - £31,835
Location: Perth, UK

Swimming Teacher (STA or Swim England Level 2)

Filton Town Council
Salary: £13.50 to £14.62 per hour
Location: Filton, Bristol, UK

Swimming Teachers

GLL
Salary: Competitive
Location: Nationwide, United Kingdom

Fitness Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £18,000-£20,000 dependant on experience
Location: Bicester OX26 2NR, UK

Recreation Assistant -North Hykeham

GLL
Salary:
Location: North Hykeham, Lincoln, UK

Swimming Project Manager (UK Travel)

GLL
Salary:
Location: Stratford, London, UK
recruiting with sports management

General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: up to £37,000 + c20% bonus
Location: Tottenham, London, United Kingdom

Duty Manager

Mytime Active
Salary: £18000 - £23000 per annum
Location: Kent, England, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

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

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £10.20 per hour
Location: Croydon, UK

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £7.96 per hour
Location: Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Recreation Assistant

GLL
Salary: Up to £16,143 per annum (39 hours a weeks pro rata)
Location: Appleby-in-Westmorland, UK

Sports Marketing and Development Assistant

Aston University
Salary: £16,654 to £18,777 per annum
Location: Aston, Birmingham, United Kingdom
training with sports management

Aquadome Life Guard

Merton Hotel
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Location: Jersey

Health and Fitness Centre Manager

Cheltenham Ladies' College Sports Centre
Salary: Up to £31,000, depending on skills and experience
Location: Cheltenham, UK

Duty Manager

Legacy Leisure
Salary: £17,000-£17,400
Location: Kidlington, UK

Apprentice Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £21,284 per annum
Location: Kentish Town, North West London

Senior Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £22,320 per annum
Location: Epsom, Surrey

Assistant General Manager

The Gym Group
Salary: up to £22,000
Location: Feltham, United Kingdom

Recreation Assistant (Lifeguard)

GLL
Salary: Up to £7.96 per hour
Location: Woodstock, Oxfordshire
apprenticeships jobs  lifeguard jobs  swimming teacher jobs  Gymnastics Coach jobs  Swimming instructor jobs  recreation assistant jobs  duty manager jobs  personal trainer jobs  fitness instructor jobs  general manager jobs  assistant general manager jobs  Sales Manager 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: UK Trade & Investment
UK Trade & Investment is the government department that supports UK companies to trade internationally and helps overseas businesses to set up in the UK.
View full profile >
More company profiles

Featured Supplier

Jordan named storage and distribution partner for Hatton Boxing
As it moves into the next phase of its 30-year story, Jordan, the functional fitness equipment specialist, has strengthened its existing partnership agreement with Hatton Boxing
View full details >
More featured suppliers

Property & Tenders

Location: Dundonald International Ice Bowl
Company: Lisburn and Castlereagh Council
Location: Port Talbot
Company: Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
Location: White Rocks, Hastings
Company: GVA
Location:
Company: Gravesham Borough Council
More properties & tenders

Diary dates

27-28 Jun 2018
Exhibition Centre Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
02-03 Jul 2018
The Principal, Manchester
11 Jul 2018
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, United Kingdom
28 Aug - 01 Sep 2018
tbc, Sao Paulo, Brazil
More diary dates