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- 01 April 2015 00:00
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By investing in sport we can help improve our Health and Wellbeing.
We’re all aware of the impact obesity could have on the NHS over the long term and we all recognise that sport can play a key role in reversing that.
By targeting investment in sport, we can take steps towards tackling anti-social behaviour, improving educational attainment and increasing attention spans in the classroom. Some of the most successful organisations dealing with youth violence and gangs recognise that sport is a key vehicle to deliver their message. The Premier League’s Kickz programme – working with the police – has helped to oversee reductions of up to 60% in anti-social behaviour. Sports coaches for Greenhouse and The Change Foundation provide not just coaching but – just as importantly – emotional support for vulnerable youngsters.
In any community, the existence of sports clubs can act as a social glue, and bring people together.
There are many organisations carrying out incredible work of this sort all over the UK and then the likes of Sported helping them achieve even more; The RFU’s Try For Change programme just one example.
By better understanding the wants and needs of participants and with the better use of technology, compatible products can be innovated and designed.
Let’s say an Archery club’s participation figures rise by 20. If that’s because they’ve persuaded 20 people from the local shooting club along, that’s great for them, but the overall position across sport hasn’t changed. On the other hand, if they’ve used Katniss from the Hunger Games and Legolas from The Hobbit to inspire youngsters who had no previous interest in sport…Then that innovation needs to be encouraged and rewarded and replicated.
We need to therefore recognise that participation is a means to an end. Not an end in itself. What matters are the benefits that come from participation.
Most importantly we need to make sure we’re working with the right delivery partners and are continuing to engage even more closely with other Departments to deliver results through sport and to deliver real change.
Why not try for change this summer?
Create a new you by getting fit and active to improve your health and wellbeing.