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Support for Uniting the Movement

Our 10-year strategy has been welcomed by key figures in the sport and physical activity sector.

Uniting the Movement

This page is all about the reaction to Uniting the Movement - continue reading or go back to our main strategy page.

Key figures from within the sport and physical activity sector and beyond have given their seal of approval to our new strategy.

Since we launched Uniting the Movement, our long-term vision has been endorsed by several high-profile figures from the industry and other relevant organisations.

  • Mark Bullingham, chief executive at the Football Association

    "The FA welcomes Sport England’s new 10-year strategy and we are pleased to see many synergies with our own new strategic plan to deliver positive change across the country.

    "We share Sport England’s ambition to use the power of sport to help improve the physical and mental health of the nation, as well as uniting communities and creating opportunities for people to stay active.

    "We also share a strong alignment in the effective use of data and digital technology to guide, support and encourage people to get involved in sport. We look forward to working with Sport England on our shared ambition for the nation."

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  • Tom Harrison, chief executive at the England and Wales Cricket Board

    "We welcome the publication of Sport England’s strategy and share its ambition to place sport and physical activity at the heart of the nation’s recovery from coronavirus.

    "The pandemic has shown that physical and mental wellbeing is a top priority and we look forward to working with the government, Sport England and our wider partners to make a difference to people’s lives and ensure cricket is a game for everyone now and for years to come."

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  • Scott Lloyd, chief executive at the Lawn Tennis Association

    "We firmly believe that tennis, and sport more broadly, can play a vital role at the heart of the nation’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly in support of those groups who have been most impacted by it, and the strategy Sport England have developed provides a clarity of purpose and platform for that to happen.

    "It is pleasing to see there is a clear 10-year vision, and a key focus on tackling inequalities. Sport England’s ambition aligns with the LTA’s own vision to open tennis up, making it a sport that can be played by anyone, no matter their age, background or ability.

    "We are looking forward to continuing our close working relationship with Sport England to build on the progress that has been achieved in recent years and play our part in helping to keep the nation active and to live healthier and happier lives."

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  • Bill Sweeney, chief executive at the Rugby Football Union

    "We are looking forward to working with Sport England to support their strategy and secure the future of rugby union in the wake of coronavirus.

    "Team sports, and the huge number of volunteers that deliver them, play a vital role in uniting communities across the country. 

    "As well as the physical and mental health benefits, team sports provide personal development opportunities through teamwork and the relationships formed. Community clubs also provide a great deal of wider societal benefit such as fundraising and community assistance for those who are most in need."

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  • Fran Connolly, chief executive at England Netball

    "Sport England’s 10-year strategy comes at an extremely welcome and warranted time, where the need for sport and physical activity for individuals and communities has never been greater. 

    "This exciting and ambitious new strategy seeks to address many big issues across the sporting landscape. England Netball looks forward to uniting with Sport England to help tackle the stubborn inequalities that exist in sport, and to playing our part in getting women and girls moving again and experiencing the life changing benefits that being active can bring."

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  • Chris Jones, chief executive at England Athletics

    "The new Sport England strategy is an important and timely development that will be welcomed by the sector as we look for both common purpose and direction in a future where community sport and physical activity can play a central role in leading the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. 

    "It is pleasing that the plan reflects a longer-term strategic view and the importance of working together as partners to break down the stubborn inequalities that remain in access and participation levels, challenges that have no doubt become more resilient to change during this unprecedented period.

    “Sport is fundamentally important to the fabric of our society and is enjoyed by communities across the land. We are naturally delighted that the strategy acknowledges the importance of grassroots sport and the invaluable contribution of those who work tirelessly to make it happen to help grow, retain, and develop the talents of participants to provide a positive and lifelong relationship with sport and physical activity.

    "With a home Commonwealth Games on the horizon, it is important that such foundations are supported and strengthened if we are to harness the inspiration that such major events will provide.”

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  • Lisa Pearce, chief executive at British Wheelchair Basketball

    “Sport England’s 10-year strategy offers an ambitious and clear direction on how together, collectively as a sector within our communities, we can emerge from coronavirus.

    "To build back stronger than ever before, with a true focus on providing physical activity and sports opportunities for all. The strategy seeks to address the long-standing inequalities apparent in sports participation, and which have been amplified further over the last nine months. 

    “As a sport, British Wheelchair Basketball, welcomes the new strategy and its emphasis on providing engaging, vibrant sporting opportunities which meet the specific needs of each and every participant. Over the last nine months we have seen just how important physical activity and sport is to each and every one of us, through the many physical and mental health benefits of regular activity and the connection we all find valuable in social interaction through sport.”

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  • Brian Facer, chief executive at British Cycling

    "Sport England have provided great leadership for the sport sector throughout the pandemic. This new strategy aims to put sport and activity at the heart of every community, and their ambition of a more collaborative approach which aligns national and local priorities is the right way to make England a healthier and more active nation. 

    "At British Cycling we are well placed to support this policy, with a strong local and regional network of engaged and dedicated volunteers. We also know first-hand of the positive impact that the right circumstances, opportunity and encouragement can have, with over 1.4 million more children cycling during the first lockdown. I look forward to working closely with Tim Hollingsworth and the team at Sport England to help them achieve their ambitions.”

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  • Adrian Christy, chief executive at Badminton England

    "What an exciting vision for sport and physical activity! National governing bodies have a critical role to play, and together with a range of both strategic and delivery partners, this strategy should inspire us all to shape the sporting habit of the whole nation, to ensure that every corner of the country has the ability for sport and physical activity to become, and stay, part of everyday life, for every person.

    "Whether you are a national body, a facility provider or one of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers or coaches at local level, we all have the ability to bring communities together, to create lifelong positive experiences for young people, to build on the fantastic work undertaken in recent years to get the nation active or to effect change where change is needed.

    "After a year of extraordinary challenge for so many, this strategy offers great inspiration."

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  • Nick Pink, chief executive at England Hockey

    "England Hockey welcomes this strategy and it couldn’t be timelier. In light of the pandemic, it is essential that we all come together to help push forward the recovery and inspire people and communities to ensure everyone, no matter their background, is given the opportunity to create positive lifelong experiences through sport and physical activity.

    "Sport and physical activity have an essential part to play in helping people live healthier and happier lives. We must do more to tackle inequalities and put diversity and inclusion at the heart of our work and it’s great to see this strategy making it such a priority."

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  • Ralph Rimmer, chief executive of the Rugby Football League

    "The collaborative and insightful way that Sport England has developed this strategy puts the whole sector in a strong position to meet the challenge of the recovery of our communities from the pandemic, and to fulfil a central, powerful role in creating a healthier, happier and fairer society.

    "The focus on inequality is fundamental. Inequality of access to facilities, activities, spaces, support, coaching and opportunity; with economic disadvantage in particular remaining a barrier to moving more, playing more, and deriving not only physical and mental wellbeing benefits from that - but also as we know in rugby league – increased aspiration, attainment and social mobility.

    "We have seen that even when sporting activity was reduced it was often to sports clubs and sports people that the nation looked to for content and inspiration. Such is the central role that the whole sector can and should play in society; and the principle that this should benefit everyone has never been more important."

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  • James Hope-Gill, chief executive at Skateboard GB

    "Skateboard GB is delighted to have been part of the extensive consultation process for Sport England’s new 10-year strategy. Skateboarding, which is more lifestyle than sport, has so many life-changing benefits and reaches a large, growing youth community that other sports aren’t able to connect with.

    "We believe that the gift of skateboarding can really help support Sport England’s ambitions to help people live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives, especially after the devastating impact of coronavirus and look forward to working with them to make this a reality."

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  • Nick Pearson, chief executive at parkrun

    "Sport England’s next strategy comes at a time of both tremendous uncertainty and significant opportunity and is very welcome. The past 10 months have thrown into sharp relief the health and wellbeing challenges that face this country.

    "As a sector, it’s even more important that over the next decade we understand how to tackle inequalities and create opportunities for everyone, no matter their background or situation. 

    "If we can reflect on the coronavirus crisis and learn from it, if we can effectively invest and support those most in need, then we can build a healthier and happier society.

    "Our role, in helping to improve public health and wellbeing, has never been more important."

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  • Marcus Kingwell, chief executive at EMD UK

    "As the national governing body for group exercise, we fully support the new Sport England strategy. We know that physical activity has the power to connect communities, improve health and provide positive experiences but this will only work within the right ecosystem.

    "The new strategy addresses this via more collaboration, targeted investment and a new blend of national and local action. All of this aligns with EMD UK’s direction of travel as we help instructors bring group exercise to 6.8 million regular participants. We look forward to playing our part in delivering the strategy in England."

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  • Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England

    "Being active is the single most important thing you can do to improve your physical and mental health. We’ve seen how much people have valued exercise during the pandemic and it’s been a reminder that it is never too late to get started, even with something as simple as regular walks. 

    "One of the great opportunities with Sport England's new strategy is the ambition to engage and collaborate with communities across the country. This is vital as it will support the important work after the pandemic to help people recover physically and mentally from ill health through regular activity."

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  • Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England

    “Public Health England welcomes the new Sport England strategy and continued commitment to supporting everyone to become active and maintain an active lifestyle.

    “The pandemic has highlighted the importance, to our physical and mental health, of supporting people to get active and we’ve seen some great work at a community level to support people in staying active at home and through the use of apps, such as Couch to 5k.

    “We will continue to work with Sport England and our partners to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to get active every day as we recover from the pandemic.”

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  • Ali Oliver, chief executive at the Youth Sport Trust

    “This new Sport England strategy comes at a pivotal time. Helping young people to recover from the impact of coronavirus and turning around a generational slide towards inactivity has to be our biggest national priority in the tough months and years ahead.

    “By publishing a 10-year strategy which places a greater focus than ever before on children and young people, Sport England have set out an important statement of intent.

    “The emphasis this strategy places on physical literacy and enjoyment is absolutely right if we are to build a love of moving and unlock the health and wider outcomes of being active for the millions of young people currently missing out. There has never been a generation more in need of the life-changing benefits of sport and play, and to that end we also welcome the crucial focus on ‘recover’ and ‘reinvent’ for the sector and for young people.

    “At the Youth Sport Trust we look forward to working even more closely with Sport England to ensure that positive experiences of sport and activity provide all young people with the foundations of happy and healthy lives.”

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  • Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the tourism and sport board at the Local Government Association

    "Councils are working hard to try and ensure sport and leisure facilities are available once national restrictions are eased and will have a key role to play in realising this strategy’s ambitions

    "We look forward to working collaboratively with Sport England to implement it and are pleased to see its emphasis on collaborative working across all sectors and partners. This will be essential if we are to tackle entrenched health inequalities and help the nation recover from coronavirus – physically, mentally and economically.

    "The strategy places an important focus on children and young people, with both groups adversely affected by the closure of schools, sports and indoor play facilities and community clubs. While it is right that there is focus on the impact of the pandemic on their education and future opportunities, an emphasis should also be placed on their physical and mental health and health literacy."

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