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21 Nov 2019

Main political parties to take part in sport and physical activity hustings
BY Tom Walker

The invite-only debate will provide the sector with a chance to examine the parties' ambitions and priorities for sport

The invite-only debate will provide the sector with a chance to examine the parties' ambitions and priorities for sport
photo: Shutterstock

The Sport and Recreation Alliance and ukactive will host sport and physical activity hustings with the main political parties ahead of the December general election.

To be held on Wednesday 4 December at the Kia Oval Cricket Ground, the invite-only debate will provide the sector with a chance to examine the ambitions and priorities for sport and physical activity with representatives from the main political parties.

It will also provide the main parties with a chance to present any possible plans they have for a healthier, more active nation.

The campaigning by the main parties has, so far, offered little detail on how they plan to utilise sport and physical activity – despite growing evidence that the sector could help ease pressure on the NHS by tackling issues such as obesity and mental health.

“It is common place to see a high-ranking parliamentary official at major sports events, as a way to show their support for sport in our country" said Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, Lisa Wainwright.

"Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup and the Six Nations are a few of those opportunities that our politicians use.

"It is time for this support to transition into policy away from the camera flashes, the celebrations and the congratulations.

"This support needs to be for everyone, it needs to be sustainable, and it needs to create an active nation.

"We look forward to hearing how our members want to work with the new government and how the new government can put the sector at the centre of its decision making.”

Huw Edwards, ukactive’s CEO added: “As the leading organisations in the sport and physical activity sector, this is a great opportunity for our members to understand the main political parties’ direction of travel and for them to hear our voices.

“We want this election campaign to focus more on how our sector can play an important role in the preventative agenda, positioning sport and physical activity at the heart of a variety of social challenges.

“We have called on political parties to have sport and physical activity within their policies, and the next step is for the sector to step up and show the next government what works best.”

The event will be independently chaired by sports journalist Matt Slater, with the panel to be confirmed "over the coming week".



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