UK Cheerleading Association – Written evidence (NPS0061)



  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? 

Unfortunately it is clear that there is a silo mentality with each organisation looking after its own interest. Local authorities have a clearer understanding of the needs of their community but by appointing a contractor / trust to manage facilities only dilutes the ownership of sport and physical activity further. Creating numerous administration structures and competition damages the ability to provide a single one stop solution to deliver a coordinated activity program and plan, to then introduce Active Partnership, thus creating three sets of administration, data collection, reports, action plans, focussed areas of delivery etc etc etc. There needs to be an honest review of local delivery and how coordinated the various organisations involved are collaborating in agreeing policy, action plans, resources etc.


  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.



  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. 

Provide education and opportunities. Provide funding so that individuals can become community coaches, actively leading others whilst earning a living. Become our teachers, mentors and role models of tomorrow. UKCA already have this structure in place and have successfully brought together 4 generations into one activity. 


  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?


  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? 


No the government does not have an accurate picture of participation.

As an organisation (UKCA) has qualified over 10,400 coaches (97% women) who now coach in approximately 4,300 clubs and have a collective membership of over 230,000 individuals between them. The clubs and coaches provide multiple sessions each week to the membership. UKCA established a partnership with Manchester City Council over ten years ago, delivering the sport of Cheerleading in Secondary, Primary and Disability Schools. The organisation delivers 4 National Championships in Manchester (2019 figures - 7282 Competitors + 7193 Spectators) and also has a robust National Coach Education and Training Program. Unfortunately our Sport is recognised by the IOC but not recognised by Sport England so, that precludes UKCA and our clubs from accessing a great deal of National and Local funding streams required to further develop and enhance our offering to more young girls. Therefore all the good work carried out by the UKCA family is not collected in any form by Sport England. I would suggest a little investment to UKCA and other organisations in the same position as ourselves would give a much clearer picture of young girls in sport with a simple model, by providing broader opportunities to invest in activity in local hot spot areas, to maximise return on any small investment whilst collecting the much need data to provide the evidence required by government. We have evidence and success stories of hard to reach youngsters now qualified as coaches and running their own Cheerleading clubs.


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


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

Put in place a robust national framework and centralised reporting so that organisations are duty bound to follow a mandatory single route and abusers have nowhere to hide.


  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. 

National Governing Bodies and organisations are completely reliant on partnerships with key stakeholders including volunteers, parents, clubs, members, Local Authorities, Active Partnerships and Facility operators in order for them to continue to exist. By providing a simple mapping exercise for each sport / organisation, it becomes clear that sports have a stronger presence in areas from a National, Regional and Local level. Therefore it would make sense to focus and invest resources both human and financial in the first instance into these stronger areas, creating an even stronger NGB / organisation, with a model for implementation that could then be rolled out in a more realistic and strategic way, rather than trying to be the answer to all requests, diluting the product and becoming less effective, ultimately damaging any partnerships established.


  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?


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


A National plan for sport and physical activity should be a framework that allows flexibility within it at a Regional and Local level. What is good for one region / Local Authority is not always the best option for another. Sport is simple in school after school, local club, local facilities, people, partnerships, structure, improvement and move on. We seem to have fallen into the habit of over complicating and creating barriers to this simple opportunity of enjoyment that people of all ages need to escape the pressures of life.  One of our board members has more than 40years experience in Policy, Strategy, Partnerships, Facility Development and Community Development and with a small number of other experienced, like minded individuals, could write a successful nationwide plan!


28 January 2021