The government launched the “Exercise to Help” campaign to get people involved in organized sport.
It comes after the multi-stakeholder panel on digital, culture, media and sport heard evidence that fewer than 100,000 children in England had achieved the 60-minute minimum daily activity recommended by the chief medical officer last year compared to the previous year.
He added that the percentage of children and young people not reaching the minimum recommended activity level was “a major concern”.
Just over half of children and young adults achieved the recommended minimum level of average activity of 60 minutes per day in 2020, according to the report.
“Although the government allows people to exercise outdoors for one hour per day, alone or with their families, team sports and group exercise have stopped during the lockdown periods; gyms, recreation centers and swimming pools have been closed.
« Après chaque verrouillage successif, le sport a été l’une des premières choses à revenir, mais les niveaux d’activité pour 2020 sont tombés en dessous des chiffres de l’année précédente chez les adultes, les jeunes » a report.
He said that community and grassroots sports “rely heavily on a relatively small volunteer workforce”, and the “shrinking” of this workforce is “one of the biggest challenges facing community sports after the pandemic.”
The “Work Out to Help Out” initiative is recommended to encourage participation and volunteerism in sports.
“The impact of successive lockdowns on activity levels has not been as severe as initially feared,” the report says, but adds: “Government and Sport England need to step up efforts to encourage people to return to sport in order to anticipate a further decline in participation during Lockdown 3.” “.”
He continued: “We recommend that the government initiate a sports equivalent campaign for the ‘Eat to Help’ campaign, entitled ‘Train to Help’, to encourage volunteers and participants to engage and participate in organized sports and support the sporting infrastructure, both in England and the United Kingdom.”
The name reflects the state-backed Eat Out to Help Out programme, which offered customers a 50% discount, up to £10, when they ate at restaurants registered in August 2020, in a bid to encourage a return to the restaurant after first confinement.
The report also recommends a campaign similar to the “5 a day” public health message that encourages people to eat at least five servings of a variety of fruits or vegetables daily.
The commission also found that sports groups and organizations faced “unprecedented challenges” during the pandemic, and that financial models “that did not encourage the accumulation of reserves left clubs and organizations, even at the level of national governing bodies, in a precarious financial position.”
Conservative MP Julian Knight, who chairs the committee, said the pandemic had “left the sport’s already precarious finances in tatters”.
Mr Knight said: “Today we made recommendations to the government on how to better protect the spaces in which we practice and put grassroots sports on a more sustainable financial footing.
The government must also play its part in getting people back to work after a pandemic or risk future public health consequences. “
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports said: “For the past year and a half, we have prioritized the importance of sport and physical activity, and they will remain at the heart of the government’s coronavirus stimulus package as we rebuild in shape.”
He said £1 billion of funding had been made available to help the grassroots, elite and leisure sectors, adding: “In collaboration with the government, Sport England has now developed a 10-year strategy focused on increasing activity levels, helping to improve physical fitness and mental health, and supporting our clear commitment to Young adults who engage in 60 minutes of physical activity per day and adults 2.5 hours per week.
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