Sport and Social Exclusion

Sport and Social Exclusion

Sport and Social Exclusion

Sport and Social Exclusion

Synopsis

This book presents the first comprehensive review of factors leading to exclusion from participation in sport in the UK. Structured around key excluded groups, such as the elderly, ethnic minorities, the disabled and rural communities, the book offers an important assessment of sports policy in contemporary Britain, as well as a unique case study of policies to combat social exclusion under New Labour.

Excerpt

After seventeen years of fascinating and challenging work as Head of Research, Planning (both town and strategic) and sometimes Information at the Sports Council, now Sport England, I came to Loughborough, first as founder Director of the Institute of Sport Planning and Management (now the Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy) and subsequently as a lecturer in sport and leisure management. Here the research has been almost as varied as the more than 500 projects I managed in London.

Since 1972 I have seen several major switches of politics, five different directors and seven chairmen of the Sports Council/English Sports Council/ Sport England and even more different sports ministers with varying levels of energy, imagination and competence, considerable professionalisation of sports occupations, the rapid growth of sponsorship and then of commercial operations in sport, and three transformations of how sport is delivered through local government.

The two overriding lessons I learned from my Sports Council work was first that one had to find ways of making real the policy challenges to all the parts of the fragmented sports system; and second that there are two roles that the public agencies cannot duck and which they must carry out to serve the citizens whose taxes pay for their salaries and operations - that of co-ordinating all the parts including voluntary and commercial partners, and that of serving those who have less than average economic and social capital. For these lessons I have much to thank Walter Winterbottom, Gordon Cherry and Allan Patmore for, and George Walker, secretary to many Council of Europe committees for sport, with whom it was a pleasure to work over that same period.

In my other guises as a Methodist preacher and youth leader, school governor, Community Health Council chairman, and secretary to various professional and voluntary bodies, I had long been aware of the often-hidden phenomenon of inequality of resources and opportunities in British society. This was driven home in a new and graphic way when I was commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to review social exclusion in sport for the Policy Action Team 10. I am grateful to Paul Bolt, Director of

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