This chapter considers the various agencies involved in administering and controlling sport in the United Kingdom and argues that they need to work closely together to be effective. A clear set of shared objectives, leading to strong partnerships, which benefit everyone involved and could lead to the involvement of other agencies in support of sport, is specified.
The UK and national sport centres, national governing bodies, the Central Council of Physical Recreation, Sportscoach UK, Sports Aid Foundation, the Foundation for Sport and the Arts and the professional bodies (ILAM, ISRM, NASD and BISA) are described. The role of each is specified, along with its positioning and a short statement of its history and work in the UK sporting scene.
While much sports provision in the UK, especially at grass-roots level, is by the voluntary sector, a significant amount of support is given by a number of agencies, in particular local authorities. The private sector provides a significant range of opportunities, and since the advent of compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) and Best Value the relationship between the private sector and the local authority sector has become blurred in many situations.
Much private sector provision is very limited and very specialized, focusing on activities that are specifically mass participation or have the potential to make significant returns. Examples of sports traditionally based in the private sector or which have developed under its auspices are snooker, professional football, rugby league, aerobics and fitness training. This list is not exclusive and is constantly growing as the commercial return for previously smaller sports increases, due to the potential for further publicity and television coverage caused by the vast growth in the media coverage—especially satellite and cable television.
The key issue about sports provision is not who provides it, but the increasing necessity for liaison between all parties due to the limited resources available, or, in the case of the private sector, the need to target customers and focus on efficient practice. There is a great deal of talk at