Coaching in the UK

Tackling Physical Inactivity - we welcome All-Party report

Tue, 08 Apr 2014

sports coach UK welcomes the All-Party Commission on Physical Activity’s report ‘Tackling Physical Inactivity – A Coordinated Approach’. In today’s report, the first of two, the Commission sets out the scale and scope of the problem, and makes a number of recommendations for change.

sports coach UK supports the Commission’s recommendation that a National Plan of Action should be developed to co-ordinate work to increase physical activity. We see a central role for sports coaches as community role models within the communications strategy identified in the report.

Speaking in response to publication of the report, sports coach UK CEO Dr Tony Byrne said: “This report pulls no punches in terms of the epidemic of physical inactivity facing the UK. We believe that increasing participation in sport has a key role in tackling inactivity, and that good coaching brings more people into sport, increases their enjoyment of sport and makes them more likely to stay involved in sport.

“Our most recent research backs up earlier findings that high quality coaching motivates people to stay involved in sport. More than two-thirds of participants say the time they spend playing sport, their enjoyment, their passion and their commitment have increased as a direct result of being coached.

“Recognising the potential for enthusiasm in an initiative to dwindle with time, we also know what a pivotal role coaches and leaders can play in motivating people to stay involved and active over time. Around 60% of participants say that coaching has decreased the likelihood of them stopping playing sport, either temporarily or altogether.

sports coach UK agrees with the Commission that “...children who enjoy physical activity and develop those basic skills early in life are more likely to continue being active in later life”, and has developed a range of guidance, tools and resources, such as the School Sport Portal, to support Headteachers and those who deliver coached sport in primary schools; with the aim of developing lifelong sporting habits.

“The Commission is right to assert that full cross-party commitment must be secured if we are to halt the decline of physical activity. The same kind of cross-party collaboration which we saw in the build up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games would support the development of a long term approach to behavioural change, and sustained delivery against identified priorities for action.

“We look forward to the publication of the Commission’s second report, which will provide more detail on implementation strategies. We at sports coach UK are keen to play our part in ‘turning back this toxic tide of inactivity’. We commit to continue working with others on a co-ordinated approach to tackling physical inactivity through sports coaching.”

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