The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has released a progress report outlining the work it has done one year on from the release of Sporting Future: A new strategy for an active nation. The strategy presented a radical change of direction in sport policy placing five key outcomes at its heart: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development.
The report sets out progress against:
- engagement in sport as a participant, volunteer or spectator
- maximising international and domestic success and the impact of major events
- supporting a more productive, sustainable and responsible sport sector.
One area of progress highlighted in the report is the release of the Childhood Obesity Plan. This outlines the Government’s plans to update the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for schools and childcare providers in early 2017 to make specific reference to the UK Chief Medical Officers guidelines for physical activity in the early years. The BHFNC manifesto The Best Start in Life, listed this as one of our key asks for government to integrate physical activity into daily life for children under five.
With regards to physical activity, the main areas of progress since the release of Sporting Future: A new strategy for an active nation are:
- broadening of Sport England’s remit to promote and measure physical activity including walking, cycling and dance
- release of a new £120 million fund to tackle inactivity over the next four years targeted at people who are least likely to participate in physical activity, eg, women, older people or people with disabilities
- at least 25% of Sport England funding to focus on tackling inactivity, specific targets are yet to be set
- a new Clinical Leadership Group set up to work with health providers to promote the integration of sport and physical activity into care pathways which includes exploring the potential for more disease specific evidence and guidelines/resources
- work by Public Health England to develop sport and exercise medicine and its implementation within mainstream NHS and public health systems particularly through the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine
- raising awareness through the development of messages and marketing that encourage everyone to be active – these will build on the existing campaigns Change4Life, One You and This Girl Can
- the release of the childhood obesity strategy which includes actions to help children enjoy 30 minutes of PE in school and the creation of a new healthy rating scheme for schools.