£250m strategy to tackle inactivity launched by Sport England

Sport England has pledged to spend £250 million as part of a new strategy to tackle inactivity across the country.

The ‘Towards an Active Nation’ strategy sets out plans for the next five years and includes dedicated funding to get children and young people active from the age of five.

The plans include new funding for family based actives as well as training for at least two teachers in every school to help better meet the needs of children.

Additionally, Sport England will pilot news ways of working locally with investment in up to 10 locations across England in both rural and urban areas.

Jennie Price, Sport England chief executive, said: “Week in, week out, sport and activity plays an important role in the lives of millions of people in England. This strategy sets out how Sport England will continue to support them.

“And in the next four years we’re going to dedicate more time, expertise and over £250 million to tackling inactivity. We will be the single largest national investor in projects for people to whom sport and physical activity is a distant thought, or not even on their radar.

“Customers – the people who play sport and are active or who might be in future – will be at the heart of everything we do. It’s by putting them first that we’ll be best able to build a more active nation.”

Ian Stephens, chair of the Local Government Association Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: "Sedentary lifestyles are a contributing factor to the child obesity crisis we are facing. Unless we act now, the number of obese adults in the country is forecast to soar by a staggering 73 per cent to 26 million people over the next 20 years.

"That is why offering training to at least two teachers in every secondary school in England to help them better meet the needs of all children, irrespective of their level of sporting ability is also well-timed.

"The emphasis on exploring new ways of working locally by investing in up to 10 specific areas to pilot new approaches to getting people active is also positive and an opportunity for councils to bid for funding."