Written statement to Parliament

Written Ministerial Statement: Youth Sport Strategy: Creating a Sporting Habit for Life

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Today I am announcing a new youth sport strategy, designed to create a sporting habit for life amongst young people.

This Government is committed to creating a lasting sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games and making good on the original promise to use the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire a new generation and create a deep and lasting legacy of sports participation in every community.

However, since 2005 when we won the bid to stage the Games, participation rates in sport in England have fallen, particularly amongst young people. Our new approach aims to arrest this decline and will have a strong focus on providing the necessary opportunities and infrastructure for young people to develop a sporting habit for life. Over the next five years £1 billion of Lottery and Exchequer funding will be invested to ensure that young people are regularly playing sport and continuing their participation in sport into their adult life. This investment has been made available through the Government’s Lottery reforms that have resulted in more Lottery money going to sport.

We are seeking consistent increases in the proportion of people regularly playing sport and, in particular, we want to raise the number of 14-25 year olds who take up sport as a habit for life.

We will do this, in partnership with Sport England, by building a lasting legacy of competitive sport in schools through the  School Games; improving links between community sports clubs and schools, further education colleges and universities - with the five biggest sports (Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Cricket and Tennis) leading  the way; working with the sports National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and ensuring that they focus their funding on activities that promote sport as a habit for life amongst  young people; putting significant investment into new and upgraded sports facilities, including funding schools  to enable them to open up their sports facilities to the public; and working with local authorities, voluntary and community groups and clubs to make the broadest possible sporting offer to young people.

We will institute a new performance management regime, with a strict payment-by-results system. For sports that don’t deliver on their ambitions, funding will be withdrawn; for those that are delivering well, they will be able to access more funds in order to expand their good work. Value for money will be a key consideration and NGBs will need to demonstrate how they will have an impact on participation at the local level. NGBs must also meet high standards of governance and financial control. All public funding allocated will be published and meet Government transparency guidelines.

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