Surbiton Hockey Club – Written evidence (NPS0119)
- 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?
- More co-ordination is needed between Local Authorities, other local bodies and local sports clubs to establish better links to get people involved in sports.
- Utilise local clubs such as ours more – they have the expertise and facilities to deliver to the local community.
- Consider an online centralised resource that is accessible to the community, LA’s, local NHS trusts and GP surgeries to make it easier for users to investigate sporting options.
- Sports clubs need more funding to be able to expand into the local community eg: consider offering a grant per member to suitably registered and accredited amateur sports clubs (similar to how NHS GPs receive funding for patients registered). This would guarantee direct funding straight to the club.
- 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.
- Promote joint events with local schools, community organisations, sports clubs.
- Improve communication to advertise what is available in the local area for children and young people by:
- Better information sharing between NGBs and clubs to showcase efforts at local level, good practice and success stories.
- Smarter investment and marketing strategies at government level – use Instagram, Snapchat and other online platforms to promote sport using role models (influencers) from all backgrounds and all levels of sport, not just elite athletes.
- Promote strong school / club links to provide an exit route from school sport into local community.
- Schools need to place more emphasis on the role of sport in children’s lives and need to be open to making links with local sports providers.
- Schools should aim to provide more variety of sport and more of it – currently this is really only accessible in the independent sector.
- Promote sport from an early age (age 5/6) but ensure there are entry points for older children who have started sport later.
CASE STUDY: SUGDEN ROAD SPORTS’ TRUST
The Sugden Road Sports’ Trust is a registered charity that aims to deliver a programme of hockey coaching to local schools. Many of these schools have very little access to organised school sport and often have a higher percentage of children from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The initiative provides free or subsidised hockey coaching sessions for school children aged 6-13 as part of curricular PE provision or in after-school clubs. Every session is delivered by qualified and experienced coaches, including current and former international players.
The charity currently oversees programmes in both Elmbridge and Kingston Boroughs (SHC Community Projects) and Lewisham (Honor Oak Panthers) and has delivered coaching, festivals and specially designed hockey events to over 25,000 children since being established in 2012.
CHALLENGES FOR SRST
- Initial access to schools is dependent on school’s willingness to engage
- Securing ongoing funding
- 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.
- Don’t make it all about competition – programmes like Back 2 Hockey are successful because the focus is on running around, having fun, learning about sport and not worrying about leagues.
- There are difficulties for women returning / joining team sport after having children – “feel guilty” giving up a Saturday to play sport – consider informal teams, pay-as-you-play schemes.
- 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?
- Limited success
- Hockey is an Olympic sport yet all the clubs and our national side scramble for sponsorship and have to rely on lottery funding – that’s not govt funded!
Half the pitches we play on are very old, many of our other clubs use school facilities or don’t have club houses etc.
- Physical health – benefits should be at the forefront now given the inequalities exposed by the covid crisis; but emphasis must also be given to other areas.
- Mental health – also important but there needs to be more funded training available for sport deliverers around this.
- Individual development
- progression pathways within local clubs for participants
- coach development – NGB’s should offer more for inclusive coaching eg: disability sport; mental health awareness etc; voucher system for coach training.
- Social and community development
- Use local community clubs; foster team spirit
- Economic development
- Successful clubs provide employment opportunities and career pathways for coaches, support staff, hospitality providers.
- Facilities can be accessed by the wider community not just club members.
- A challenge faced by sports club when upgrading facilities is local planning laws. The process is often very complicated and takes many months / years especially if the club is situated in residential areas. There should be recognition that local grassroots clubs are part of the community and are integral for the health and well-being for local residents and should not be viewed as stand alone “member’s only” clubs.
- 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 – it is fragmented; Active Sport surveys often count occasional / one-off participants; greater clarity is needed around how many are accessing sport on a regular basis.
- How can racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and ableism in sport be tackled
- Mainstream sports media has to do more to tackle the ‘isms’ in sport. There should be legislation to ensure that the status quo isn’t maintained with the excuse that “people don’t want to watch / read about women’s sport / disability sport etc. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed just how fragile some sporting ecosystems are and more needs to be done to bridge the gaps.
- While there has been some progress in tackling racism in sport we ultimately need more role models, more education / sanctions around negative behaviour and more pathways to encourage a diverse range of players, coaches and administrators at all levels – from grassroots to elite. “We don’t have a problem with this at our club” is a lazy and ignorant assumption.
- What can be done to improve and implement effective duty of care and safeguarding standards for sports and recreation actives at all levels?
- Current controls are generally good but are ultimately dependent on the governance adopted by the individuals involved. Larger sports clubs with more resources – both human and monetary - have an advantage over smaller clubs. More support and parity is needed from NGBs.
- 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.
- Dame Katherine Grainger recently announced that a “win at all costs” attitude to performance at elite level is unacceptable.
- Within hockey, the NGB needs a better balance in its attitude to the elite level and the thousands of people wo participate every week. Both ends need to work in a continuum – the current system often pits one against the other.
- 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?
- Within hockey, look to the club structure in the Netherlands
- Should there be a national plan for sport and recreation? Why/why not?
- Definitely – a national plan will create more coherence and structure enabling all partners to work towards a common goal. In addition to promoting the physical and mental well-being of the individual, a plan needs to also take into account the necessary upgrades to existing infrastructure at local level and should plan for developing new and additional infrastructure for the future.
29 January 2021