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Strategy document also says there will be funding for more cycling lessons for children

A government sport strategy document reveals that Sport England’s role is to be broadened to cover a number of new activities, including cycling to work, walking and dance classes. The decision to broaden the definition of “sport” comes as the government looks to focus more on groups that are currently less active.

The FT reports that the current Active People survey is to be replaced by another survey, which will be called Active Lives. As well as including other sorts of activity, this will cover sport played by children aged five and over – whereas only children older than 14 had previously been included.

Government makes rare mention of road traffic reduction

The document – the first comprehensive sport strategy for 13 years – states: “Our thinking about sport and physical activity has tended in the past to focus too heavily on traditional outdoor sports like football or rugby and indoor sports like swimming and badminton.”

“The active people survey is out of date and there are lots of flaws around it,” said sports minister, Tracey Crouch. “This is not reclassifying walking and dancing as sport — it is about making a proper reflection.”

The number of people aged over 16 playing sport once a week has fallen in the last three years. Crouch said numbers were still higher than before the 2012 London Olympics, but that with things starting to ‘stagnate’ it was time to look at the strategy and deliver something new.

“We will make most progress by focusing on particular sections of society that face common barriers to taking part,” says the strategy document. Crouch said that funding could therefore move away from traditional sports bodies and towards new groups that are able to demonstrate they can reach these communities.

The strategy document goes on to say that every primary school child will be taught how to swim and that there will be funding for more cycling lessons.

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15 comments

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teaboy [307 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

So it's about the government doing nothing, but 'increasing' the amount of physical activity being taken Hmmm..... 

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Stumps [3496 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Yep, Teaboy, your right. They will now come out and say "our policy is working, look at all the people doing sport" ......cycling to work is not a sport its a necessity for a hell of a lot of people who cant afford to run a car or cant afford to pay the ever increasing price of public transport.

 

 

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fatbeggaronabike [847 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Well cycling to work is a sport bit like dodgeball but with cars!

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P3t3 [413 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I don't understand.  I can only read this as:  

 

Q: the figures for sport activities look bad, where can we get extra numbers from?

A: Well lots of kids do ballet and some people ride bicycles to work, if we add them in then the figures will look better, will that do?

Original questioner: Super, carry on!

 

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ironmancole [350 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Oh dear.  More PR spin to show government have the faintest idea about promoting activity and cutting the ever increasing burden of obesity that will absolutely cripple the UK.  Reap what you sow and all that, the car continues to impact everyday life but still we herald it as a wonderful thing.

Let me give them a clue.

“We will make most progress by focusing on particular sections of society that face common barriers to taking part,” says the strategy document.

A barrier would be getting maimed or killed by a motorist and then having the courts treat your family with complete disrespect by smacking the killers hand on the wrist and giving them a naughty sticker.

Start there perhaps?
 

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brooksby [2583 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

If "cycling to work" is now a sport, does that mean we can enter "silly commuter racing" into the Olympics?

But seriously - I cycle to work.  For my use of it, it is a mode of transport and definitely not a sport.  If this change is implemented, then the Govt are effectively saying that there's no difference between driving to work and Formula One - which is a bit stupid...

Or... Is this the beginning of them deciding that cycling is not a mode of transport and shouldn't therefore be allowed on the roads???  I'll get my tinfoil hat.

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Wolfshade [200 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

If cycling to work is a sport, what category race licence do I need?

Maybe the old saying is true "you only know you're in a race if you're overtaken".

I can see why cycling to work, or running to work, or canoeing should be considered as part of an active lifestyle, but there is a fundamental difference between utilitarian cycling and leisure cycling (I know sometimes it is very hard to tell them apart, like when you pop down to the shops 5 minutes away and put a 10 mile loop in for fun). It is the purpose of it which matters. Utilitarian cycling, cycing to work/school etc. is transport and should be considered as such.

If the remit is to get more people more active and suggesting it as a lifestyle change then maybe rather than coming from "sports england" it should come from one of the public health bodies after all the health benefits are incredible.

 

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mrmo [2094 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

the fundamental idea does IMO make sense, it doesn't matter what activity you do as long as you do something. To many people do far to little and you don't need people running, cycling(racing), playing sport etc to be healthy, you just need people to get out walking or cycling(commuting), etc.

The question is whether the will is actually there to make a change, or is this merely a statistically ruse to make it look like there are more active people without really increasing the numbers of active people, and more importantly without actually having to spend any money.

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pd500 [13 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Can we get it into the Olympics if its a sport. The traffic of Rio would be a good testing ground for it to be a demonstration sport in 2016....

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kamoshika [223 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

They're just demonstrating, once again, that they don't get it. There are many different "types" of cycling. Cycling as a sport is a different thing to utility cycling to get to the shops or your place of work / education. I (like a lot of people on here I suspect) do more than one different type of cycling and that blurs the boundaries, but I approach going out for a training ride or taking part in a sportive very differently to a leisure ride along the canal to the pub, or riding to work.

Labelling all cycling as sport is not helpful (unless you're trying to inflate the figures for people taking part in sport). What the government need to be doing is looking at what will encourage more active travel - people on bikes / citizen cyclists, whatever you want to call them. That's a transport issue not a sporting one.

I've always been a bit sceptical of the sporting success encouraging people onto bikes thing. I'm sure it encourages more people into cycling as a sport, but I'm not convinced Laura Trott hurtling round a velodrome or Froome winning le Tour (fantastic though those are) does anything to make people want to ride to work instead of driving.

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kamoshika [223 posts] 1 year ago
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For another example of the powers that be not getting it, you only need to look at the Tour not coming back to London. As I understand it the costs for that would have been met from the TfL cycling infrastructure budget. Why? It's a sporting event that would have brought a lot of tourism, so pay for it if you're going to (and I think they should have done) from sports and tourism budgets, not transport. It makes as much sense as covering the costs of the British F1 GP from the road building budget because it's to do with cars.

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bikebot [2119 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I actually have absolutely no objection to this, it should have been done years ago.

The health of the nation absolutely should consider active travel, and someone that commutes by bike five days per week sees much more benefit than someone who plays football once every Sunday.

The only concern, is the natural expectation that the Government will use it fiddle the statistics.

 

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
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If the purpose is to get some realistic data on how active people are then it absolutely makes sense to include dance, walking and cycle commuting. Surely better to collect accurate and meaningful statistics in the first place and then let the people who actually do implement infrastructure planning and budget decisions have that data whilst politicians and chat forum hacks can argue about who's fudging the figures?

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arfa [852 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

OK, it juices the figures a bit but surely this is more power to the elbow of getting more favourable change to infrastructure and legislation etc ? It gives the opportunity to argue look how awfully inactive the nation is and one bright spot is active commuting which has somehow grown in spite of the shitty attitudes of other road users to cycling and the half arsed efforts so far to promote it. Time to push hard for the full Dutch approach.

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arfa [852 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

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