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Call to 'embed' sports participation after post-Olympics lull

Published 04/08/2015

Tracey Couch is puzzled at the dip in sports participation
Tracey Couch is puzzled at the dip in sports participation

Ministers are appealing to the public for ideas on how to address why the number of people playing sport is falling three years after the Olympics.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said London 2012 had been an incredible success but while participation levels are higher than they were when Britain was awarded the games in 2005, the numbers have shrunk since October 2012.

Interim Labour leader Harriet Harman clashed with David Cameron at Prime Minister's Questions over the issue last month, claiming the Government was "squandering" the Olympic legacy.

Ms Crouch has launched a nine week consultation to gather ideas on what more can be done to increase access to sport across the country and to make sure taxpayers' cash is spent effectively.

She said: "Sport has such a positive impact on people's lives and I want to embed participation into this nation's DNA.

"I want to make sure that the sports sector gives everybody - no matter who they are and what their ability - the chance to take part. However public funding is a privilege not a right and has to go to the organisations that can make a real difference.

"I want to hear views from people and groups on what more we can do to strengthen sport in this country across the board."

The minister added: "Britain has punched above its weight in elite sport in recent years with fantastic results but we can not be complacent.

"I want sport to do all it can to bring on the next generation of talent so that the nation continues to enjoy success and inspirational performances."

The consultation will focus on 10 areas: participation, p hysical activity, c hildren and young people, f inancial sustainability, c oaching, workforce and good governance, e lite and professional sport, i nfrastructure, f airness and equality, s afety and wellbeing, and i nternational influence and major sporting events.

Contributions can be made until Friday, October 2. Responses can be sent via the Government website, Gov.uk.

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