The following open letter, signed by England Athletics' CEO, Chris Jones, and backed by other leaders in sport, was published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 19 November, asking political parties to commit to tackling inactivity among young people.
Open letter to all political party leaders
On behalf the country’s leading sport organisations, we ask for your commitment to tackle an alarming trend.
The wellbeing of young people across the UK is in decline. This comes at a time when they are increasingly missing out on the benefits of sport and play. Only one in five young people is active for 60 minutes every day and Physical Education is being squeezed from the timetable in many secondary schools.
We believe that the inactivity of young people, and the associated problems this is posing for their physical and mental health and wellbeing, is nothing short of a public health emergency. Too many are growing up overweight or obese, unhappy, lost and lonely.
We ask for your public commitment during this General Election campaign that, should your party form the next government, you would set out a long-term, bold and measurable plan to:
- Tackle the decline in young people’s wellbeing through harnessing the power of play, sport and physical education.
- Ensure every young person enjoys an hour a day of sport and physical activity, backed up by good quality teacher training and investment in school sport facilities.
During this campaign you will be setting out some of your biggest priorities for shaping our country’s future. We urge you to make this one of them.
Adrian Christy, CEO, Badminton England
Ali Oliver, CEO, Youth Sport Trust
Andrew Scoular, CEO, British Judo Association
Andy Parkinson, CEO, British Rowing
Anna Hall, Head of Participation, British Equestrian Federation
Arun Kang, CEO, Sporting Equals
Ashley Metcalfe, CEO, British Weight Lifting
Barry Horne, CEO, Activity Alliance
Brendon Pyle, CEO, Golf Foundation
Chris Allbut, Director of Programmes, Greenhouse Sports
Chris Jones, CEO, England Athletics
Dan Newton, Development Director, Rounders England
Dan Newton, CEO, Parkour UK
Georgina Usher, CEO, British Fencing
Gethin Jenkins, CEO, England Boxing
Huw Edwards, CEO, ukactive
Jane Allen, CEO, British Gymnastics
Jane Nickerson, CEO, Swim England
Fran Connolly, CEO, England Netball
John Boyd, CEO, BaseballSoftballUK Ltd
Julie Harrington, CEO, British Cycling
Laura Cordingley, CEO, Chance to Shine
Lee Mason, CEO, Active Partnerships
Lisa Pearce, CEO, British Wheelchair Basketball
Lisa Wainwright, CEO, Sport & Recreation Alliance
Mark Bullingham, CEO, The Football Association
Mark Winder, CEO, Goalball UK
Mark Gannon, CEO, UK Coaching
Mike Bain, CEO, England Handball Association
Peter Hart, CEO, British Orienteering
Ralph Rimmer, CEO, Rugby Football League
Richard Norman, CEO, Sports Leaders
Nick Pink, CEO, England Hockey
Scott Lloyd, CEO, LTA
Simon Hill, CEO, UK Ultimate Ltd
Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director, Rugby Football Union
Stewart Kellett, CEO, Basketball England
Stephanie Hilborne, CEO, Women In Sport
Sue Wilkinson, CEO, AfPE
Tara Dillon, CEO, CIMSPA
Tom Harrison, CEO, England & Wales Cricket Board