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ukactive urges Theresa May to run with physical activity baton

As incoming Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to form a new government today (13 July), ukactive has called on the new administration to continue the work of its predecessor in taking strides to tackle the UK’s physical inactivity epidemic.

David Cameron’s six-year premiership saw a number of positive steps forward for the physical activity agenda and coincided with a period of sustained growth for the sector. Some of the government’s standout achievements in that time include the 2013 launch of Public Health England, publication of last year’s groundbreaking Sporting Future strategy and the announcement in March of a £520m ‘sugar tax’ on fizzy drinks to fund physical activity in schools.

ukactive and the wider physical activity sector is eager for the new government to maintain this momentum and drive forward with further policies that will help to create an active Britain. One area of concern among industry sources is the fate of the much-delayed childhood obesity strategy, however ukactive executive director Steven Ward is hopeful the new government will pick up the physical activity baton and run with it.

Ward welcomed the stability the appointment of a new leader so soon after the referendum brings for business and said it will be vital for the new government to ensure that access to the single market is maintained. He also highlighted the potential for new trade deals to create additional opportunities for physical activity firms and said the sector looks forward to working with the government and DCMS as part of this.

“The previous government and the coalition before it did a huge amount to firstly recognise, then to begin to treat, the issue of physical inactivity and has made several strong steps to doing so over the past years,” said Ward.

“This has of course gone hand-in-hand with the growing strength of our sector and the rise of the wellbeing industry, of which our sector is the backbone.”

“However, there is still a long way to go before building activity back into the DNA of the nation becomes a truly national priority,” he added.

“The ukactive team and our membership will seek to work closely with the new administration over the coming months to quickly identify where there are opportunities to raise the profile of physical activity and create long-lasting policy change, as well as areas where there we can collaborate with our members to deliver physical activity on the ground.”

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As incoming Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to form a new government today (13 July), ukactive has called on the new administration to continue the work of its predecessor in taking strides to tackle the UK’s physical inactivity epidemic.
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