Andy Reed: It’s a 10-year journey, not a sprint

 

The Games raised the UK’s self-esteem and boosted business and the economy. More major sporting events are taking place on UK soil, which will help to keep that taste of excitement in the air. The challenge now is to inspire the spectators to take a more active role in sport.

Increasing participation in physical activity is the crux, and the jury is still out as to whether we will achieve this. Sport England’s most recent figures show an overall rise since 2011 but a fall in recent months. But we at the Sport and Recreation Alliance agree with Legacy Ambassador Lord Coe when he says that it’s going to be a 10-year journey.

Getting more women and disabled people taking part in sport are sticking points. Half of girls don’t take part because they’re put off by the way it’s taught at school, and while the Paralympics did an amazing job of challenging perceptions, only 18.2 per cent of disabled adults in England play sport once a week. Mainstream sports clubs need to be more accessible.  We must also give PE teachers adequate training to cater for pupils of all abilities and needs.

Lord Coe has stressed that local volunteers and events will play a key role in mobilising more people to take up regular physical activity, but clubs, volunteers and facilities  are vulnerable to ever deeper local authority cuts.  More sports centres and pitches may have to close, or the prices that people pay to use them will rise. This is one of the biggest challenges, and our Sports Club Survey results, which are being released in the next couple of weeks, will provide a clearer picture of the grassroots situation.

Reductions at local-authority level are short-sighted and councils who are forced to cut will see a growth in health and social costs in their area that they can ill-afford. Investing in sport and physical activity sustainably would actually pay huge dividends in the long term.

The sports sector now needs time and stability to focus on these challenges, and to make a success of the Government’s new school sport funding for head teachers.

No other host country has ever delivered a lasting legacy of participation for their nation, but then no other host country has ever made such a public commitment to delivering it, until now. 

We must keep those Olympic memories fresh and clear

Andy Reed is chair of the Sport & Recreation Alliance

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers