Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Follow Health Club Management on Google+ Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Subscribe to Health Club Management Get RSS alerts from Health Club Management magazine
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Ukactive update: Ukactive making progress in Westminster

The physical activity sector is making good progress in Westminster, but there are many battles ahead. ukactive executive director Steven Ward explains

By Steven Ward, ukactive | Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 5
£415m of funding will promote activity and healthy eating in schools / Photograph: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
£415m of funding will promote activity and healthy eating in schools / Photograph: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
We have an awfully long way to go before we can say we have truly turned the tide on our physical activity epidemic

How far up the political agenda has the physical activity sector progressed in recent years? A heck of a long way, according to sports minister Tracey Crouch. At the recent ukactive Parliamentary Reception, the MP for Chatham and Aylesford noted that “partnerships like those with ukactive and the wider physical activity sector have a major role to play in supporting the government to deliver a healthier nation”.

We have an awfully long way to go before we can say we’ve truly turned the tide on our physical activity epidemic, but we’re heading in the right direction. The reception brought ukactive members and partners together with nearly 50 leading parliamentarians for a valuable evening of networking and discussion.

Our sector has a crucial role to play in helping the government to deliver on its core agenda of creating a healthier, more productive nation. We know that physical inactivity costs the economy £20bn per year, while the majority of Britain’s 131 million annual sick days are due to back, neck and muscle pain, which can largely be avoided through regular movement and strength exercises.

Best possible use
Many of these problems start in the playground, so it’s hugely encouraging that the government has recently pledged to ring-fence £415m of funding from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to promote activity and healthy eating in schools. However, we believe this money will have a limited impact unless schools adopt fitness measurements nationwide. The ukactive public affairs team has been working to build cross-party consensus behind this flagship policy objective.

In fact, the team has held meetings with more than 50 senior parliamentarians over the past year, growing support for pro-physical activity policies and a £1bn capital investment in our country’s leisure stock. These endeavours have also led to dozens of activity-focused questions being asked in the House of Commons and I’m confident that our unrelenting efforts will soon be rewarded with a significant breakthrough.

Fighting for fitness
Physical activity’s growing standing in Westminster leaves much room for optimism, but the Spring Budget was a sobering reminder that there are many battles ahead. Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that sport and physical activity will be omitted from the 15 core employment pathways as part of the new Post-16 Skills Plan for vocational and technical education recommended by the Sainsbury Review. This glaring omission drastically underestimates the importance of our sector to the future of UK PLC.

By failing to provide a clear career pathway into the physical activity sector for young people, the government risks weakening the workforce at a time when it’s never been needed more. The physical activity and sport sector employs over 500,000 people and holds the key to some of the biggest societal challenges that we face today. We’re winning some friends in Westminster, but we must strive to win many more hearts and minds.

Tanni Grey-Thompson (right) with Tracey Crouch (left)
Tanni Grey-Thompson (right) with Tracey Crouch (left)
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/843557_833153.jpg
The physical activity sector is making good progress at Westminster, but there are still battles ahead, says Ukactive's Steven Ward
Fitness On Demand
Fitness On Demand
Latest News
Hollywood star Hugh Jackman has declared his support for a worldwide ‘Workout for Water’ event ...
Latest News
From secret music events for fitness to sports heatmaps and AI coaches, 16 innovative start-ups ...
Latest News
Kimberlee Perry, founder of trampolining fitness group Bounce, has been named as the UK’s Best ...
Latest News
Ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards has been announced as the keynote speaker for SIBEC ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness brand Frame is to press ahead with expansion following a £6m funding injection. ...
Latest News
A 'shocking' rise in childhood obesity figures means Britain must act now or risk the ...
Latest News
British Rowing is taking its masterclasses around the country following increasing demand from fitness professionals ...
Latest News
Aggressive low-cost operators and political uncertainty are putting pressure on London-based fitness chain, Soho Gyms, ...
Latest News
More than one million more men than women are taking up voluntary roles in sport ...
Latest News
Fitness First Germany has introduced Bike and Beats classes at its clubs as the growing ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has partnered with The Movember Foundation, pledging to raise £50,000 towards men’s ...
Job search
Current vacancies
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Company profile
Company profile: Wexer
Wexer is a leading provider of fitness technology, connecting fitness operators with consumers in evermore ...
Company profile
Company profile: Hydroplus UK
HydrO+ is a business that is focused on providing the fitness industry with the very ...
directory
directory
WeBuyGymEquipment.com
directory
ResortSuite
directory
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A
directory
Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Limited
directory
Spirit Fitness UK
directory
Move GB
directory
Sanit Group
directory
Lightmasters UK Ltd
directory
Swimrite Supplies Ltd / SRS Leisure
directory
RKF Luxury Linen
directory
Featured supplier
Supplier profile: Co-ordinate your campaigns with Core
When it comes to keeping your brand front of mind, while increasing loyalty and repeat business, Core by Premier Software (Core) has it covered. View full profile...
Featured supplier
Supplier profile: Optimum Nutrition announces 2017 Gold Standard Fitness Awards
Optimum Nutrition is proud to announce that the Gold Standard Fitness Awards returns for 2017 to acknowledge the outstanding work and commitment of fitness professionals all over the country. View full profile...
Property & Tenders
Gravesham Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Gravesham Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-29 Oct 2017
Ten Health & Fitness Hatton Garden, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
17-20 Oct 2017
Gran Via Exhibition Centre, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
Les Mills
Les Mills