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06 Feb 2024
Andy Reed Think Tank launches 2024 election manifesto for physical activity
By Kath Hudson
Andy Reed Think Tank launches 2024 election manifesto for physical activity
Cost-neutral policies suggested include the creation of more active environments
Photo: Shutterstock/Real Sports Photos
In a newly-launched manifesto, physical activity sector stakeholders are calling for the next UK government to promote active environments, cut red tape and elevate the status of PE in schools.

The Road to the 2024 Election Manifesto has been put together by independent body Sports Think Tank, which asked 29 organisations to create resource-neutral policies they would like to see the UK’s political parties champion in both their upcoming manifestos and the first 100 days in office.

The document details more than 100 policy ideas for physical activity, wellbeing and sport, including elevating the status of PE within the school curriculum; incorporating active environments into planning policies; addressing deep-seated inequalities; embedding physical activity in further education and moving the sector towards health and wellbeing, especially through prevention in integrated care systems.

Andy Reed OBE, founder and director of Sports Think Tank, says funding challenges were considered: “We asked our contributors to produce policy ideas that remain resource-neutral for the government over the budget cycle. While it's easier to ask for large policy wins, with resource implications, we felt using the principle of marginal gains – so well used in sporting circles – was a fresh, much-needed approach. We're aiming for the work we've done in collecting these policy ideas to be the start of an iterative process involving both the contributors and policy makers.”

Reed says many of the organisations approached feel they're not understood by political parties and would like to see an all-party approach, with better advocacy and more cross-government working. They're keen to help government use physical activity to make society healthier.

Kim Leadbeater MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sport, wrote the foreword, saying: “It's not hyperbole to claim that physical activity remains one of the most underused resources we have at our disposal when tackling some of our most persistent challenges, from easing the pressures on the NHS to tackling crime and improving economic productivity.

“Perhaps most importantly – and this is where political parties should prick up their ears – the contributors were challenged to make each policy call cost-neutral. In these economically trying times, this aspect alone should make this document essential reading," she said.

The contributors were the Youth Sport Trust, Play England, Activity Alliance, Women in Sport, Sported, UK Sport, The Active Partnership Network, Sporting Equals, Loughborough College, UK Coaching, StreetGames, Intelligent Health, British Judo Association, British Canoeing, Loughborough University, Active IQ, Sportily, Sport for Development Coalition, State of Life, David Morley Architects, Max Associates, SLC, Fitmedia, Data Sport 80, Oaks Consultancy, Farrars Building Chambers and Henham Strategy.

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