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It was established in August 2013 as a free to access news-line on all things happening in Community Sport. It was set up as a small contribution to the legacy of London 2012 which inspired us all and will live long in our memories.

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  • Comments: 0
  • 25 August 2015 00:00
  • in Government
  • Visits: 887
  • Last Modified: 25 August 2015 09:44
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Sports strategy consultation needs to be effective

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3 years on from London 2012 and one year to go to Rio. A new Government and an impending new sports strategy. Interesting times ahead!

The latest APS figures show a downturn in participation rates and the response is for a consultation programme for a whole new way of programming, promoting and funding sport. 

Our message at Community Sport Network is this –  create a new vision, but don’t seek to replace those parts of the sports system that currently do work. Sport England and other key providers have made some good progress in recent years, but a formulaic, one size fits all approach will not provide the answers we need.

Don’t be afraid to invest in organic programmes at a local level that are based on innovation, passion and the drive of individuals. Find a way to create the level of accountability needed to justify public investment, but don’t be afraid to look at volunteer run programmes.

The return on investment has the potential to be high, albeit based on greater risk. Sensible measurement measures need to be worked on that have more subtlety than the current APS set up.

Don’t make the old mistake of centering the new approach around organisational structures and a dependency upon facilities, but instead recognise the age of mature consumerism, and encourage individual choice and informal affiliations via the raft of technology offers that now exist.

Less formal activity choices now exist, often on common land, in parks and on the streets. Increased flexibility in working patterns for many allows activity to be undertaken at times of personal choice, so, less pre programmed activity and more focus upon individually determined leisure behaviour, whatever the motive. 

Trust also that the private sector will offer good products and services on a value for money basis. Market forces will always determine how people choose to spend their leisure pound.  

Dare to think differently and act differently!

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