InSport Advisory provides specialist advice to corporates, sports associations and sovereigns including policies for development and operation of competitive sport, organisations,  governance of sporting bodies, health and lifestyle policy and initiatives, identification and recruitment of senior hires.

InSport Advisory's project lead is Lord Colin Moynihan, former UK Minister for Sport and former Chairman of the British Olympic Association.

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A National Plan for Sport, Health and Wellbeing

Lord Moynihan sits on the Lords Select Committee which has developed a radical new national plan for sport and recreation

It is difficult to overstate the positive impact that sport and physical activity has on health and wellbeing. Being more active can lift your mood, make you more resilient to serious illness and improve your quality of life. For many, the challenge, social interaction and enjoyment of sport and physical activity brings significant personal reward. Meanwhile, unhealthy and sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of developing several non-communicable diseases and places a significant burden on the NHS. Engaging in sport, recreation and physical activity also benefits society. It promotes social and community cohesion, helps people to develop skills and confidence, can help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and makes a substantial contribution to the economy.
Lord Moynihan, along with the Select Committee Members have set out the key issues and policy themes which should be a part of the national plan. These principles lead to a range of recommendations including the need for the Government to conduct an audit and to develop a clear, fully costed national facility strategy for pitches, leisure facilities, swimming pools, parks and other outdoor and indoor spaces. The facilities strategy will need to be developed together with local authorities and in close consultation with local communities, sports clubs and other local delivery bodies. They are also calling on the Government to tackle discrimination in sport and recreation, including the launch of a nationwide campaign to ensure a safe environment and by doing more to hold social media companies to account for harmful content posted on social media platforms.
Additionally, Lord Moynihan and the Select Committee believe a core task of changing attitudes towards sport and physical activity within the youth bracket, in the knowledge that these attitudes often track into adulthood. Current Physical Education is not valued highly enough and teacher training time devoted to Physical Education is inadequate. The Select Committee have set out to see Physical Education made a core subject with greater emphasis on physical literacy and making Physical Education and school sport a fun, enjoyable and inclusive experience. Guidance and recommendations need to be implemented for better accountability and oversight of the Physical Education and Sport Premium, including improving provision of Continuing Professional Development opportunities for teachers.

Summary of Report Conclusions and Recommendations

1.Delivery of sport and recreation is uncoordinated and fragmented from the top down and delivery and funding structures are not fit for purpose. There needs to be a new architecture to embed genuine cross-departmental working and to reset delivery and funding.

2.Funding needs to coalesce around the national plan. The Government should look to New Zealand’s wellbeing budget model for inspiration on how to coordinate departmental agendas and budgets around delivering a shared programme of work. The Treasury should review the tax environment for the sector, including for sports clubs, to create a more favourable tax regime that encourages self sufficiency and reduces dependency on public funding. The Government must also introduce a stature requirement on local authorities to provide and maintain adequate facilities for sport and physical activity. This will need to be back up with adequate financial support from the Treasury.

3.The new Physical Activity Observatory should seek to collect data consistently and regularly from publicly funded organisations. To do this, it should develop a standard approach for collecting non-personalised data that will provide a clearer picture of how and when people exercise; supporting efforts to improve access to facilities. Sport England should make funding to organisations contingent on them providing information for the Open Data initiative.

4.The Government must also conduct an audit and develop a clear, fully costed national facilities strategy for pitches, leisure facilities, swimming pools, parks and outdoor spaces. This strategy should be created jointly with local authorities. The strategy need not duplicate the Football Foundation’s facilities plan for football and artificial football pitches. Instead, it will complete the picture of what each local authority needs to ensure that a full range of high-quality facilities and spaces are available and easily accessible for everyone.

5.Discrimination comes in many forms and it is always unacceptable. As part of the national plan the Minister for Sport, Health and Wellbeing will need to take steps, together with Sport England and UK Sport funded bodies and other key stakeholders, to ensure there is a safe environment for participants in sport and recreation and to raise awareness of the channels through which complaints can be made and participants can seek support.

6.To tackle abuse on social media platforms the Government must hold social media companies to account for harmful content online. The forthcoming Online Safety Bill should ensure that social media platforms are regulated to prevent such harm with robust enforcement and significant sanctions.

7.We are disappointed and alarmed to hear that some primary school teachers are entering the profession with only a few hours’ training in delivering Physical Education lessons and physical activity. The Government must work with teacher training providers to ensure adequate time is allocated in teacher training courses to build knowledge and confidence in the delivery of Physical Education and to assess trainee teachers’ understanding of Physical Literacy.

8.Some sports and local clubs have established positive partnership with schools, but there is considerably more potential for schools and local sports clubs to connect and work together to encourage more participation in grassroots sport.

9.A national plan must take a broad, whole system approach so that activity can be embedded in all aspects oof our everyday life including work, leisure time, health and travel. At the same time, a one-size fits all approach will not work. Funding needs to be distributed to the local, grassroots level with power residing in local authorities, metro mayors and communities to develop place-based approaches.

10.As part of the national plan, relevant Government departments must reach out to and work with the private sector and academia to develop, trial and roll out new evidence-based apps and use open data better. The priority must be finding new ways to engage and target underrepresented groups and to bring new audiences to physical activity.

11.Safeguarding policies for adults and children in sport must be extended and made consistent across all sports to include conduct online, including social media, to ensure that participants in sport and recreation can be better protected.

12.Workforce diversity surveys should be mandatory for tier 2 organisations, as well as tier 3 organisations as set out in the Code for Sports Governance. Data for each organisation should be made publicly available on a regular basis so that organisations are accountable. Larger NGB’s and other bodies funded by Sport England and UK Sport should support their grassroots clubs in surveying its workforce, both paid and volunteers, to better understand those who help facilitate grassroots sport and recreation opportunities.