Evaluation from national, regional and local level 

in school sport in United Kingdom from 1997-2007

Evaluación del nivel nacional, regional y local del deporte escolar en el Reino Unido de 1997 a 2007


Diplomada/o en Educación Física

por la Universidad de Murcia


Ida Cortés Ibáñez


Tomás Marín Navarro







          The purpose of the report is to evaluate the policies and strategies that have been put in place from 1997-2007 to increase sports participation at national, regional, and local level, in the United Kingdom, considering focus in school sport.

          Keywords: School sport. National. Regional. Local.



          El objetivo de este artículo es evaluar las políticas y estrategias que han tenido lugar desde 1997 hasta 2007 para aumentar la participación deportiva a nivel nacional, regional y local, en el Reino Unido, centrándonos en el deporte escolar.

          Palabras clave: Deporte escolar. Nacional. Regional. Local.


EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital. Buenos Aires, Año 15, Nº 154, Marzo de 2011. http://www.efdeportes.com/

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1.     Introduction

    The purpose of the report is to evaluate the policies and strategies that have been put in place from 1997-2007 to increase sports participation at national, regional, and local level, in the United Kingdom, considering focus in school sport.

    In this report I will use the following literature:

  • In national level I will use the document: “Game Plan (December 2002).

  • In regional level I will use the document “North west on the move”.

  • In local level I will use “Preston´s working out” (2006-2010).

2.     Examples from national, regional and local level for policies and strategies from 1997-2007 to increase participation in the United Kingdom

2.1.     National: “Game Plan (2002)”

    Our long term vision for sport and physical activity by 2020 is: “to increase significantly levels of sport and physical activity, particularly among disadvantaged groups; and to achieve sustained levels of success in international competition”. The message is simple: get more people doing more sport and increase our success rate in top level competition (Game Plan, 2002).

    Different policies are needed for different target groups. For young people the aim should be to develop “sports literacy” (this is an ability across a range of skills, with an emphasis on quality and choice), building on current government work in schools. But work with young people in schools will not, in itself, be enough. Adults should also be targeted, with the aim of enabling as many people as possible to become lifelong regular participants (Game Plan, 2002).

    Examples of interventions that might be considered are: better use of existing facilities (building on current efforts to greater opportunities for healthy travel such as walking and cycling (Game Plan, 2002).

    While increasing participation across the more economically disadvantaged groups generally is our aim, we have identifies specific groups that need additional assistance, namely:

  • Young people up to age 11.

  • Young people aged 11 to 16.

  • Young people aged 16 to 24.

  • Women.

  • Older people (Game Plan, 2002).

2.2.     Regional: “North West on the move”.

    The North West Plan for sport and physical activity (2004-2008) has as aim to reflects the needs of sport and physical activity in the North West community and needs to focus on achieving two main outcomes:

  1. To increase participation in sport and physical activity.

  2. To widen access and reduce inequality in participation amongst priority groups.

    The five themes of the North West Plan for sport and physical activity are:

  1. Benefiting the economy.

  2. Improving health and wellbeing.

  3. Creating stronger and safer communities.

  4. Developing education and skills.

  5. Enhancing the sporting infrastructure.

    In the report I speak about the themes developing education and skills and creating stronger and safer communities because they are related ones to the school sport.

    In the first time, Developing Education and Skills that has as aim to use sport and physical activity within learning and workplace settings to promote lifelong learning and participation in sport to the benefit of the individual and the economy. This strategy is widely related to school sport.

    Her key objectives more important are:

  • To ensure that all schools across the region provide high quality physical education and school sport programs.

  • To ensure through sport and physical activity, that educational opportunities are maximized to build capacity for excluded groups and communities.

  • To increase access to physical literacy / activity in nursery and primary school settings.

    In the second, Creating Stronger and Safer Communities that has as aim to use sport and physical activity to unify communities, unlock local skills, and help people at risk to adopt a positive lifestyle.

    Between her key objectives I only enhance this one related with the school sport:

  • To ensure that the education sector is fully engaged in the use of sport and physical activity in tackling issues of community safety and cohesion.

    The North West Plan for Sport and Physical Activity is not just plan for Sport England alone, it is a plan which all stakeholders need to value, own and contribute too effectively. The plan is being developed to recognize and integrate a number of key national and regional strategies and initiatives that influence the north west region. The North West Plan for sport and physical activity (2004-2008).

2.3.     Local: “Preston’s working out (2006-2010)”

    The City of Preston will aim to have the most active population in the North West by 2010 with a ‘premier league’ network of quality sports clubs, top class facilities, more active schools and accessible community opportunities for physical activity and sport. (Preston’s working out, 2006-2010)

    Within Preston there already exists a network of clubs with a strong tradition who carry the City name and develop sport for a broad range of citizens, i.e. Preston Swimming Club, Preston Harriers, Preston Grasshoppers and Preston Sports Club (cricket and hockey). However, it is the aim of this strategy to develop and support quality clubs at all levels, but particularly those that promote opportunities for young people which link to school sport provision and provide a more seamless pathway for a lifelong participation in sport as a player, coach or volunteer. Aligned to that is the opportunity to improve the quality of facilities and the infrastructure for sport within the public, private and voluntary sector to match the expectations of everyone who takes up the challenge to make Preston the most active population in the North West by 2010. (Preston’s working out, 2006-2010)

    The report highlights that participation levels need to be raised for the whole population, but that interventions should focus upon the most economically disadvantaged groups and within those, especially on young people, women, girls, people with disabilities and older people. For young people, the aim should be to develop ‘physical literacy’ (i.e. ability across a range of physical skills). (Preston’s working out, 2006-2010)

3.     Evaluation section discussing the significance, impact and limitations of each of the selected policies and strategies

3.1.     National: “Game Plan (2002)”. Other evidence outside of the strategy

    The quality and quantity of participation in sport and physical activity in the UK is lower than it could be, and levels have not changed significantly over recent years. (Game Plan, 2002).

    For it, it will be interesting to carry out some of the changes proposed in the strategy, how schools to extend the opening hours of existing school facilities beyond the school day, a local authority sports/gym facility charging a reduced rate for OAPs, for the unemployed or between certain hours of the day, between other things.

    Certain age, young people starting to stop in the sport and physical activity. Game Plan said that these are the motives:

    Winning is neither the only nor the most common reason for participation. Having fun, learning new skills, doing something one factor alongside experiencing success.

    A significant minority stop participating for negative reasons such as lack of fun, too much pressure or disliking the coach. Most young people stop because they are interesting in other activities.

    Beneath the explicit reasons for sopping is the young person’s need to feel worthy and competent. When young athletes feel worthy and competent about the activity, they tend to participate. When they don’t feel confident about performing the skills, they tend to with draw.

3.2.     Regional: “North West on the move”

    I think that the strategies development in “North West on the Move” have a lot of importance because they tries to bring sport and physical activity to the people, how a healthy aspects in her lives.

    Strategies improving people lifestyle. It has a significant benefit for the individual from being more active, so his health will improve. In the strategies include group activity; therefore the social relationship will improve also.

3.3.     Local: “Preston’s working out (2006-2010)”

    It is a good option, because sometimes sport can be expensive and for this motive it is not reach of all people.

    This strategy has priority about economically disadvantages groups, so a lot of people have possibilities to do sport and physical activity that in the other form they can not to do it. Whit this strategy the public has opportunities to be more active and obtain the benefits that physical activity produce.

    Also is important the contributed with older people, because Preston has a high level of old population and with people with disabilities because they should have the same opportunities that the rest of the population.

4.     Section on the key agencies that support participation in the United Kingdom; evaluating their role or successes and limitations

4.1.     National: “Game Plan (2002)” 

    Key organizations involved in sport in England:

  • Government: DCMS and other Government Departments.

  • Non Government: UK Sport, UK Sports Institute, Sport England, English Institute of Sport, National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and National Sports Organizations (NSOs), include Youth Sport Trust, CCPR and Sportscoach UK.

4.2.     Regional: “North west on the move”

    “Developing Education and Skills” is support by Youth Sport Trust, County Sports Partnerships, National Governing Bodies, further and higher education, local education authorities, School Sport Partnerships, Playwork Unit (Skills Active), Sure Start and Early Years Childcare Partnerships.

    “Creating Stronger and Safer Communities” is support by the group has representation from Government Office with regard to crime reduction and youth services, strong local authority representation, the police, black and ethnic minority representation, Sports Action Zones representatives and NACRO.

4.3.     Local: “Preston’s working out (2006-2010)” 

    This level is support by: SDU (Sports Development Unit), SSC (School sport co-ordinator), YOT (Youth offending team), APRETON, PPP (Preston parenting project) and Preston Police.

5.     Evaluation (successes / evidence)

5.1.     National: “Sport by sport fact sheet”

    The percentage is different in sports between men and women and also in the different regions:

    The popularity of different sports varies substantially among men and women. For example, more men (13.4%) play football than women (1.2%); similarly more men (6%) play golf than women (0.9%). By contrast, many more women (17.1%) swim than men (10.3%). Going to the gym is however more or less equally popular among men and women.

    Levels of participation in different sports varies across regions - for example London has the highest proportion playing tennis (3%) with North East the lowest (1.2%); while golf participation is highest in the South East (4.5%) and lowest for London residents (2.4%).

5.2.     Regional: “North West region”

    This level is successful. The percentage is very near to national average and in some cases it overcomes it. These are some evidences:

  • 27% of people in the North West (1,487,978) have built some sport or activity into their lives.

  • Regular participation ranged from a high of 29.3% in Macclesfield to a low of 16.3% in Blackburn with Darwen UA.

  • Satisfaction with sports provision in the local area: 70.1% of adults are fairly or very satisfied with sports provision in their local area - national figure is 69.5%.

5.3.     Local: “Preston’s working out (2006-2010)”

     This level is successful. It bears the most dangerous places in Preston and is realized during school holiday periods. These are the evidences in Streetwise report:

    Streetwise Soccer has now gained national recognition through a multi-agency approach in response to youth nuisance issues offering a structured approach to sport within accessible community locations for 10-16 year olds, around times when youth nuisance was being reported to the police. The scheme also provides the mechanisms for key agencies to refer young people who are at risk of offending or indeed are part of a small percentage of persistent offenders.

    Streetwise is playing a significant part in engaging young people positively in sport and volunteering within Preston’s priority wards and this has led to significant reductions in youth nuisance in many areas across the city.

    As such, Streetwise has been heartily endorsed by individuals, community groups and strategic partners.

    By working with location, offender and victim, Streetwise has been able to tackle some of the root causes of crime, nuisance and antisocial behavior in Preston. Through responding to local issues identified through the Problem Analysis Triangle we have been able to bring local interventions to areas in need.

    Crucial to the success of Streetwise is positive feedback from residents and shop owners who can say that they feel safer and more secure in their homes and places of work.

6.     Conclusion

    There are a range of possible beneficial outcome from sport and physical activity: personal satisfaction and better social life; improved health; improved educational outcomes; crime reduction; social inclusion; and enhancing the environment. (Game Plan, 2002)

    For children and adolescents in particular, regular exercise can be an important health maintenance strategy, both now and for the future, helping to prevent obesity and its associated problems. Overweight children are at increased risk of many health problems, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, type-2 diabetes, growth hormone dysregulation, and respiratory and orthopedic problems. Further, obesity in adolescence is independently associated with chronic diseases that develop in adulthood. (Game Plan, 2002)

    These benefits are the key where state and organizations should to support for the public understand that sport and physical activity is needed and very healthy in their life.


    Engendering a positive attitude towards sport and physical activity, and instilling good habits in young people, is probably the best way to increase overall participation in the long term. (Game Plan, 2002)

    I think that is possible to increase the participation in sport and physical activity in whole and in a future vision, because young people will be in several years the old population and they could to inculcate these healthy habits to his descendant.


  • Game Plan (December 2002).

  • “North West on the move”.

  • “Preston’s working out” (2006-2010).

  • “Streetwise”. Annual report (2006-2009).

  • Sport England: “North West Region”.

  • Sport England: “Sport by sport fact sheet”.

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EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital · Año 15 · N° 154 | Buenos Aires, Marzo de 2011
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