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Published in Sports Management 02 May 2016 issue 119

Elite or grassroots, the welfare of participants is vital

Emma Boggis,

Chief executive,

Sport and Recreation Alliance


We’re pleased the government has launched the Duty of Care review because sport and recreation should be a safe and inclusive environment for all. (see report, p34)

The consultation will gather information from existing practices in sport, other sectors and other countries to produce recommendations that will support the government’s aim of getting more people engaged in physical activity and maintain the position of the UK at the top of the medal tables.

We are particularly pleased that as well as considering elite athletes the review will also consider those who participate in grassroots sport.

Looking after everyone at every level is vital to ensure a more regular and sustained involvement in physical activity. We will be responding to the call for evidence – in particularly drawing on the work on concussion and mental wellbeing we have been engaged in recently – and are already working with Tanni to ensure that the views of our members on all the important issues are heard.

Duty of care chair Tanni Grey-Thompson
Duty of care chair Tanni Grey-Thompson

Coventry has the credentials to be City of Rugby

Tom Clift, strategic co-ordinator, City of Rugby at Engage! Coventry,

Strategic co-ordinator,

City of Rugby at Engage! Coventry


We’ve been delighted with the reaction and coverage Coventry has received following the launch of our City of Rugby initiative, as we aim to establish Coventry as one of the leading cities in the world for every level of the sport by 2023 across Rugby League and Union.

But why rugby and why Coventry? Well, our City of Rugby partnership believes that the core values of the game (Teamwork, Respect, Integrity, Enjoyment and Discipline) can have a great impact on young people, families and their communities.

Every sport has its challenges but our goal, initiated via a newly developed educational programme called Engage!, aims to use the core values of rugby for social and educational enrichment.

The sport and its values are unique and can have a huge impact in developing healthy, well-rounded, confident youngsters who have greater access to opportunities to help develop a sense of belonging within their local communities.

The City of Rugby seeks to build upon this by introducing the sport and its values into more schools and neighbourhoods. We are working alongside partners to address the social, health and educational challenges that impact the wellbeing and prospects of young people.

Coventry has a proud rugby heritage, dating back to 1874 with Coventry Rugby, where at its most successful period in the 1960s the majority of the national team came from the club.

From a Rugby League perspective, in Coventry Bears we have the only professional club in the Midlands, and with Wasps moving from London to base themselves at the only Olympic venue in the Midlands, the Ricoh Arena, we’ve had the opportunity to seize a unique moment, as various factors have aligned to make this initiative possible.

With a 10-year strategy for sport, it’s exciting times in Coventry and through promoting the values and our unique rugby heritage, there’s no sport better placed to make an impact across our City.

"With a 10-year strategy for sport, it’s exciting times in Coventry"

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