Call for industry views on Government's new sports strategy

The Government is calling for feedback on a new cross-departmental sport strategy aimed at increasing participation in sport and physical activity.

Football players. Image: MorgueFile
Football players. Image: MorgueFile

The strategy comes in the face of falling sports participation levels, with the number of people who play sport at least once per week now at 15.5m, down from a peak in 2012 of 15.9m.

The consultation paper aims to include all Government departments in its strategy, recognising the wide impact that sport and physical activity could have, from lowering the incidence of Type-II diabetes to reducing offending.

In the paper, sports minister Tracy Crouch suggested the current view of participation was "too simplistic", seen as an end in itself when it should be seen as a means to ends such as improving health, fighting inequality and improving educational outcomes.

As part of the process, which will see the release of the first new sports strategy since 2002, the DCMS will be collecting feedback via online submissions. Respondents will be asked a series of 70 questions around 10 core themes.

Download the consultation document here (PDF).

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) has specifically requested a response from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG). Employees in the UK groundscare industry are asked to send their thoughts to the IOG, to inform its formal response to the consultation. The institute has suggested industry members take particular note of Theme 7: Infrastructure in the strategy document.

IOG chief executive Geoff Webb commented: "We hope the review will take account of and, indeed, change the culture of thinking when it comes to managing and maintaining sports grounds at a grassroots level.

"The IOG will continue to make the case for groundsmanship with a view to establishing a more proactive rather than reactive case for our sector. We will look closely at how groundsmanship can be better integrated into everyday planning and thinking so that it is clear how well-planned and managed groundscare routines can have a positive impact on participation and sustainability of sports grounds, of every type of surface.

"The IOG is preparing its own response, and we also inviting our members to share their views with us."

Feedback by e-mail to is required by 14 September. Individual responses can also be submitted directly.

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