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‘Sports mad’ Tracey Crouch named new sports minister

By Tom Walker    13 May 2015
Crouch is an active footballer and has coached a women's team for nearly a decade

Sport will have a true advocate in the newly-formed Conservative government, following the appointment of Tracey Crouch as sports minister.

Crouch, a self-confessed “sports nut” is the MP for Chatham and Aylesford in Kent and has been a member of the Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee since 2012.

She is a qualified football coach and continues to play actively, as well as coach a women’s football team – something she has done for nearly a decade.

Crouch has actively promoted equal opportunities in sport and has served as vice chair of the All Party Group for Women in Sport.

In 2011, she hit the headlines when she criticised the Football Association and its laws on mixed gender games, which prevented her from playing for the Parliamentary football team.

Crouch replaces the outgoing sports minister Helen Grant, who – despite claiming that “sport was in her DNA” – came under fire in 2013 for being unable to answer five simple questions on sport.

Crouch’s appointment follows that of John Whittingdale on Monday as the secretary of state for the DCMS.

In its manifesto, the Conservative Party promised to continue to support UK Sport funding for elite athletes on their journey to the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.

The party also outlined plans to encourage new sports in the UK by forming partnerships with US-based professional leagues – such as National Football League (NFL), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) – and creating UK-based franchises.

There have also been pledges to increase the number of women on national sports governing bodies to at least 25 per cent by 2017 and improve the quality of community sports facilities.

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