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‘New approach’ needed for UK sports policy

By Tom Walker    06 Jul 2015
Trends such as mass participation events are changing the nature of sport – and policy should reflect that, the report says

The UK government needs to embrace “fresh thinking and independent input” when making sports policy decisions if it wants to maximise the potential of sport.

The finding comes from the Sports Think Tank’s Sector Survey, published today (6 July), which questioned 100 senior sports industry figures on a range of issues.

More than 95 per cent of those questioned wanted a new approach into how policy is created, with 85 per cent saying sport should link with innovators and entrepreneurs to meet consumer needs.

“The survey shows a strong appetite for change,” said Sports Think Tank chair, former MP Andy Reed.

“It’s time to embrace new technology, new players and new tactics if we are going to maximise the potential of sport to improve sports participation and the nation’s health, fitness and well-being.

“Given the revolution in technology over the last decade and the innovations which have occurred in many industries and other aspects of Society, it would be madness not to involve a wider range of people and inputs into any new policy debate.

“The government should heed the survey’s call for new voices and new approaches.”

The survey also showed concerns over further government cuts. Nearly 90 per cent fear that predicted budgetary restrictions will prevent local authorities from providing adequate sports facilities – many which have already been rated as inadequate.

To download a PDF document of the full survey results, click here.

Survey details:

• The Sports Think Tank surveyed a group of “top 150 UK sports leaders”, with 100 people responding. The group included academics, MPs, sports CEOs and owners and operators of SMEs.

Key findings:

• More than 95% want fresh thinking and independent input

• 85% say sport should link with innovators and entrepreneurs to meet consumer needs• 79% think NGBs to think more creatively about products, pricing, platforms and content

• 86% want a new 10 year cross-party sports strategy• More than 70% want the private sector to invest more in ‘grass roots sports’

• Only 30% rate current sports policy as ‘good’• 70% think the Government should continue to bid for major events

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