Sport and activity enable people to have fun, make friends, be healthy and build stronger community connections.
Activity also has an especially pivotal role to play in levelling up communities, by bridging the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Today, this value – otherwise known as the combined ‘social community development’ impact – of sport and physical activity is estimated at £20bn to the UK. But that’s nowhere near its full potential.
Physical activity is also hugely valuable to the national economy
A healthy population is a productive one. Today, the mental and physical health of our workforce has never been more important as we look to build, and rebuild, vital industries and support our national economy through incredibly challenging times.
The economic contribution of the UK sports sector alone has been compared to agriculture, forestry and fishing combined. Today, there are more than 285,000 jobs in England within community sport and physical activity, across the private, public and third sector – and the direct contribution to the economy in England is valued at £13.8bn every year. As the sports industry is very employment heavy, it’s seen as an especially effective way to create new jobs and counteract recession.
Right now, movement matters more than ever
Being active already makes a vast contribution to our health, communities and economy. The total social and economic value of being involved in community sport and physical activity in England in 2017/18 was calculated as £85.5bn.
But this could be so much higher.
At a time when we face a perfect storm of health, social and economic problems, it’s essential that any response to these challenges delivers the greatest possible impact.