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Grassroots participation in sport and physical activity


The Government promised an increase in grassroots sport participation as part of the long-term legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Initiatives such as Sport England’s £135 million ‘People Places Play’ programme were set up to improve local facilities, train local sports leaders, and encourage adults to try Olympic and Paralympic sports. However, the proportion of adults participating in sport at least once a week declined in the three years following the Games.

The Government’s strategy changed in 2015 when the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Cabinet Committee was disbanded and the NAO reported in July 2022 that the Department has since “made mixed progress towards its objectives of increasing participation, tackling inactivity and reducing inequalities in activity levels”.

The COVID-19 pandemic was “highly disruptive for sports and physical activity”, with the percentage of adults classed as active falling to 61.4% in the year to November 2021. This fall exacerbated inequalities in activity for the least affluent, Asian people and disabled people.

The Committee will question the Permanent Secretary alongside the Chief Executive of Sports England on measures to increase participation in sport and physical activity and reduce inequalities, on the impact of the pandemic, and on how the success of the grassroots strategy is measured.

If you have evidence on the issues raised please submit it here by Tuesday 18 October 2022.