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- 16 September 2014 00:00
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Kate Hoey, the Mayor of London’s Commissioner for Sport, says that the delivery of grassroots sport across the capital is set to improve dramatically over the coming years due to the fact that one County Sport Partnership has now been established for the city.
The capital previously had five PRO-ACTIVE London partnerships delivering sport across the city but all five merged together at the start of this year to create London Sport.
Hoey, who was appointed Chair of London Sport, believes that the merger means good news for community sport across London.
"London Sport was created through the merger of the five PRO-ACTIVE London partnerships,” Hoey told Community Sport Network.
"It has essentially been a case of turning five County Sport Partnerships for London into just one County Sport Partnership for the city and I think that is a very good thing.
"In the past, it has been difficult for groups such as the National Governing Bodies to deliver a project across London because they have five different bodies to deal with who have five different objectives.
"In our discussions with Sport England, it became clear that it would be better for the delivery of sport across London if there was just one County Sport Partnership for the city as oppose to five.
"We have now moved all of the staff from the five PRO-ACTIVE London partnerships across to London Sport.
"Our new approach will allow us to agree common policies and approaches across London so we can co-ordinate areas of common delivery, allocate lead London roles and share resources across the region when required.
"Ultimately the move is designed to ensure a continuing legacy from London’s Olympic and Paralympic Games by providing a more coordinated and efficient approach to grassroots sports provision.
"It will also seek to capitalise on opportunities for grassroots sport arising from major sports events being held in London in the coming years.
Hoey, who served as Minister for Sport in Tony Blair’s Labour Government from 1999-2001, also believes that there will be a strong commitment to sport from the future Mayor of London when Boris Johnson steps down from the role next year.
This is because Hoey spearheaded the creation of a special Sports Unit in the Mayor’s Office at Greater London Authority.
"I think it is very important that the next Mayor of London shows a commitment to sport,” Hoey said.
"The good thing for me is that through the work of Boris and myself; we now have this Sports Unit in place in the Mayor’s Office.
"This Sports Unit provides a clear place and focus-point for sport in the Mayor’s Office. Given that the Sports Unit is now in place, it would actually be very difficult for a new Mayor of London to come in and remove it so I am confident that it will help ensure that there is always a clear focus from the Mayor of London on sport in the future.
"I will be leaving my position as Commissioner for Sport next year when Boris leaves office and clearly the new Mayor will have their own ideas about what they want to do with regard to sport.
"But I feel that the Sports Unit could be something for the new Mayor to really build on and utilise and they may want to get in their own Commissioner for Sport to lead on it, which I think would be a good idea.
"If they can use the Sports Unit to really build on Boris’ huge commitment to sport in London; that would be a great thing.”
To read the full "Catch Up” interview with Kate Hoey, Click Here