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Physical activity sector essential to UK government’s levelling up ambitions

The eagerly awaited white paper ‘levelling up’ was released this month, fleshing out some of the key concepts referred to in the Autumn Budget and at the Conservative conference last year. The question is, what role will the activities sector play in tackling longstanding economic, social and health inequalities?

The paper will be codified into law with 12 national “levelling up missions”. These will shift power from the central government to local leaders, giving them the capacity to make changes that reflect the needs in their own areas. The focus would be on narrowing the gap in healthy life expectancy between areas where it is highest and lowest by 2030.

In areas including education, public transport networks and sporting facilities, the 2030 goals will be to expand investment across these areas. The current plans for education are to increase writing, reading and maths for 90% of children in England by 2030, with an increase of a third in the worst-performing areas.

However, like the inclusion of sporting facilities and upskilling, there is space for further clarity. Commercial and community access to sporting facilities like pitches, as well as investment in gyms, pools and leisure centres could be the next training ground, for a nation of coaches, teachers and instructors. Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive added:

“The work of Sport England and its ‘Uniting the Movement’ strategy is important but can only be part of the solution.”

“What we now need to see is concrete detail on how the Government will shape and improve the landscape in which our sector operates, including clarity on access to future investment, tax and regulatory reform, and policy development.”

The Institute for Sporting Futures is committed to training a generation of coaches who will be integral to that new landscape. A landscape that puts resilience and physical activity at the forefront of rejuvenating the country’s health, wellbeing, and economic future, is what ISF prepares our students for.

To find out more about what our current cohort are learning, see our website.

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