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Parliamentary support for Uniting the Movement

Our strategy’s ambition to tackle inequalities so more people can enjoy the benefits of playing sport and being physically active has been backed in Parliament.

18th October 2022

We hosted a Parliamentary Reception to celebrate the sport and physical activity sector’s resilience during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.  

Yesterday’s event, which was held in Westminster, was also an opportunity to mark a hugely successful summer of sport, which included the England Lionesses’ UEFA Women’s Euros win and  Birmingham's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.

The reception was attended by those working in the sector as well as politicians from all major political parties.

Jodie Cunningham, Tim Hollingsworth and Born Barikor at a Sport England Parliamentary Reception

It showcased how our long-term strategy, Uniting the Movement, aims to tackle stubborn inequalities and give more people the opportunity to be active – regardless of their background, ability or personal circumstances.  

Stuart Andrew MP, Minister for Sport, addressed the reception and explained how this approach aligned with his personal values and priorities.   

“We need to shift that dial so that people, whoever they are, regardless of where they’re from or their background can come together and get active,” he said. 

“In my time as Sports Minister, I want to be really ambitious and look to make sport more accessible, more inclusive and more sustainable and I will be working with Sport England very closely on that.  

“I’ve seen in my own constituency how important sport is for our local communities. All those football clubs running sessions from volunteers, I applaud everyone who volunteers and gives up their time.” 

"I want to be really ambitious and look to make sport more accessible, more inclusive and more sustainable and I will be working with Sport England very closely on that."

Stuart Andrew MP

Minister for Sport

Tim Hollingsworth, our chief executive, said the reception was an opportunity to “highlight the hard work and dedication of so many clubs to not only survive, but to grow and thrive in such a challenging time."

Before adding: “It’s brilliant to see how many sports have embraced our strategy of Uniting the Movement in helping us target our funding to communities who need it the most.” 

Attendees also heard from Kim Leadbeater MP, our chair Chris Boardman, England rugby league international Jodie Cunningham and Our Parks founder Born Barikor. 

We know that being active helps people improve their physical and mental wellbeing, while a healthier and more active population brings communities together and significantly boosts the economy. 

Before 2020, the number of active people was steadily going up, but we found that certain groups of people were far more likely to be active than others – and the pandemic has increased this inequality. 

That’s why we launched Uniting the Movement, which focuses more on tackling those inequalities than ever before. 

It promises to be ruthless about how and where we spend our time and money and means we'll disproportionately focus on providing opportunities to people and communities that have traditionally been left behind, because we know that this will make the biggest difference.

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