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?
8. 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.
More funding ring-fenced for specific sports (e.g., Athletics) needs to be stipulated to Local Authorities. Funding is awarded by the Local Authority to the charities (i.e., Active Nation) running the leisure centres and outdoor sports facilities which then is spent by the LA/charities as they see fit. Funding is pumped into the areas with the greatest return and athletic tracks are suffering with the lack of maintenance. When equipment is left in the elements to rust, money is very often spent replacing to enable competitions to take place. Facilities at the tracks need regular substantial funding input which no LA or charity is willing to make as they are catering to a specific customer base. If athletic facilities are upgraded around the country to provide a 100m stand with an indoor track straight underneath to accommodate changing facilities, toilets, fitness/gym, and a meeting space for club members to meet would enhance the prospects of clubs, attract more into the sport, provide coaches with a better environment to develop the athlete with the hope of them continuing longer. Very often the land does not belong to the club and therefore any development would not be the clubs to develop if they raised the funds themselves. It is very restricting. Investment is needed by England Athletics like the Football Association pumps money into grass roots. The sport will not develop to produce world class athletes if the facilities do not lend themselves to the young generation to try the sport. There was once a time where Australia was very dominant in the Athletics World and that was due to substantial government funding, not just for athletes on funding programmes. The number of athletes on relay funding, that get selected for championships each year regardless of performance because they are on a funding pathway make a mockery of athletes (not funded) that finish ahead. Incentive should be given to get funding each year, not guaranteed for 4 years. This does not show good value for money.
20 January 2021