Nick Griffin – Written evidence (NPS0018)

 

QUESTIONS

  1. How can local delivery, including funding structures, of sport and recreation be improved to ensure that people of all ages and abilities are able to lead an active lifestyle? For example, how successfully do local authorities and other bodies such as Active Partnerships, Leisure Trusts, local sports clubs and charities work together, and how might coordination be improved?

Writing from the perspective of an amateur boxing coach in a small town:

There is virtually no coordination of sport. My club has virtually no contact from anyone within the local council, county council or national government. There is no local funding that we can access. We have actually raised £1Million to build a new boxing gym but have not been able to secure any land to build it on. Our local council have no interest in us building boxing gym that could potentially be the best in the country.

 

  1. How can children and young people be encouraged to participate in sport and recreation both at school and outside school, and lead an active lifestyle? If possible, share examples of success stories and good practice, and challenges faced.

Outside of school there are limited opportunities and limited facilities. In English society there is a massive emphasis on Football. Very little opportunity for most other most sports in most towns. For instance, there is no facility for athletics, rowing, wrestling, cycling in my borough of 100,000 people.

Sport in England is totally dependent on overworked volunteers

Providing facilities and staffing those facilities is the key.

  1. How can adults of all ages and backgrounds, particularly those from under-represented groups, including women and girls, ethnic minorities, disabled people, older people, and those from less affluent backgrounds, be encouraged to lead more active lifestyles? If possible, share examples of success stories and good practice, and challenges faced.

 

Education:

Children can be put off sport and exercise by the limit of sports offered and the high emphasis on team games. If not good at sport team games can be a soul destroying embarrassment. Provide more opportunities for non team sports could lead to better participation in adults

Cost:

Provide free sport / fitness activities for obese people and people from low income families

Under Represented Groups:

Sessions need to be tailored to individual needs and arranging sessions for particular groups such as female only, disabled only, muslim female only et all is key

 

  1. Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation, the Government’s 2015 sports strategy, outlines five outcome priorities: physical health, mental health, individual development, social and community development and economic development. Are these the right priorities and how successful has the government been in measuring and delivering these outcomes to date?

Difficult to answer as I am only involve in one sport in one town. Priorities seem reasonable

One factor I would like you to consider is the spread of unlicenced boxing. It muddies the water and allows a dangerous sport to be delivered by people that re only interested in making money. …. Government should grasp this nettle!

  1. Is government capturing an accurate picture of how people participate in sport and recreation activities in its data collection? How could this be improved?

I suspect the government is being led up the garden path somewhat. For instance, in our boxing club we have around 20 people that compete. 50 people that train regularly and 100 people the train occasionally. Such figures are manipulated to imply that participation is higher than it really is.

Based on the figure above how many people box? …. 20 …... If someone is trying to gain funding they  might mislead someone it to thinking it is 170.

I suspect that participation figures are far lower than some would have you believe

  1. How can racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and ableism in sport be tackled?

By providing opportunities for all groupings and allowing them to succeed

Coaches / organisers need appropriate training to reduce these attitudes and on how to modify sessions to meet the needs of all groupings listed

  1. What can be done to improve and implement effective duty of care and safeguarding standards for sports and recreation actives at all levels?

To some extent, pays lip service to safeguarding. Training courses need to be improved and training needs to be delivered to more people. Policies and procedures should be made club specific. Governing bodies need to audit safeguarding measures in clubs rather than assume that because one person has done a short training course everything is fine!

  1. What are the opportunities and challenges facing elite sports in the UK and what can be done to make national sports governing bodies more accountable? For example, accountability for representing and protecting their membership, promoting their sport and maximising participation.

Is there too much emphasis on elite sport? Hugh amounts of money thrown at elite sport whilst grass roots sport fends for itself? By widening the pyramid of participation the pinnacle becomes higher. Obsession with medal performance at major events makes NGB’s blinkered and it leads to short term success hampering long term success

  1. What successful policy interventions have other countries used to encourage people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to participate in sport and recreation, and lead more active lifestyles?

In many European countries (even those that are not particularly wealthy) anyone can access any Olympic sport in every town. Facilities are excellent and have full time staffing. For a rich country our facilities are often dire

  1. Should there be a national plan for sport and recreation? Why/why not?

Yes.

For the health and mental wellbeing of the nation

The greater the participation levels in sport the less pressure on the NHS

 

20 January 2021