Dr Neil Hudson MP has joined Government, sporting icons, health professionals and fitness experts to help 3.5 million adults and children to get physically active by 2030 as part of a major national activity drive.
A new sports strategy, a new physical activity taskforce and unprecedented funding for grassroots and school sports will combine to improve public physical and mental health. Dr Hudson who has repeatedly campaigned to boost public health and backed his local sport clubs, is proud to put his name to the new measures.
Government has founded a new National Physical Activity Taskforce, led by Culture Secretary, Lucy Frazer; Sports Minister Stuart Andrew; and former England Rugby Union international Ugo Monye as an independent co-chair.
It comes as part of the Government’s new sport strategy published today. ‘Get Active: A strategy for the future of sport and physical activity’ sets out a blueprint to improve the nation’s health and fitness, enhance corporate governance in the sport sector and make it more resilient to future challenges at elite and grassroots level.
The new participation targets - to have over 2.5 million more active adults and over 1 million more active children by 2030 - are intended to reach people of all ages and backgrounds, and meet the UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidance that:
- Adults should aim to carry out at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week.
- Children should aim to carry out at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
“After an incredible summer of international sport with Lioness and Ashes spectacles, it is clear just how critical the sector is to our economy, our international standing and our identity. Therefore, it is only right the Government has prioritised physical activity participation at all levels of society.
“I’m proud we are widening access to exercise – locally we’ve already seen almost £40,000 invested into grassroots facilities – as a more active population will reduce strains on the NHS with happier and healthier citizens. Having padded up for Parliament’s cricket team this summer, I know first-hand just how important getting active is for both physical and mental health.”
Dr Hudson has been busy over the summer supporting local grassroots sports clubs with funding opportunities and steering national policy to prioritise rural communities. You can read more about his here:
Figures from the Sport England Active Lives Survey indicate that 25% of adults are currently deemed to be ‘inactive’ in England, with over 11 million doing less than 30 minutes of activity in total a week. Meanwhile figures indicate that 53% of children and young people are not meeting the CMO’s guidance of at least 60 minutes of activity a day - with 23% being fairly active, but 30% doing less than 30 minutes a day.
NHS statistics from 2021-2022 indicate that almost a quarter (23%) of year 6 children were obese in England, an increase of 3% from 2018-19, the last figures recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic - making a national activity drive all the more important.
As part of this new strategy, the expert taskforce will advise on how to deliver on these targets, challenge how ambitions are being delivered and hold the Government, National Governing Bodies, the physical activity sector and schools to account for delivering the targets at both the national and local level.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer added:
“As Culture Secretary I want to increase opportunities for everyone to find the sport or activity that they love, which will help them be healthy and happy. Whether that’s playing with friends on the basketball court, getting on your bike or working out in your living room we want everybody to find a sport or physical activity for them.
“Our new taskforce, jointly led with Ugo Monye, will work across government and the sports industry to turn these ambitious targets into a reality, helping to break down barriers to help people enjoy the benefits of getting active.
“Through our support for school sports and our continuing investment of millions of pounds in facilities in local communities across the country we are making sure that people have welcoming and accessible places where they can get active.”
National Physical Activity Taskforce co-chair and former England Rugby Union international Ugo Monye said:
“As a former international player and dad to young children, I know the importance of instilling the benefits of sport and physical activity.
“It is clear that a major effort is needed to get Britain moving and boost our national health. I’m determined to use my experience and drive forward this ambitious strategy.”
It is the first sport strategy to be published since 2015, and builds upon the Government’s record investment of almost £400 million in grassroots facilities, including in multi-sport facilities, swimming pools and park tennis courts, to ensure communities across the country have access to high quality, safe facilities.
This is alongside investment of over £600 million for school sport and PE over the next two years, with a focus on making it clear that girls have the same access as boys, building on the success of the Lionesses at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 last year and in their recent FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 campaign.