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youth activity


A new campaign launched by The Sport and Recreation Alliance aims to establish the fundamental right of children to be active.


THE #RightToBeActive campaign asks those across society, including parents, to join the call for government to embed the fundamental right of all children to be active in policy, regulations and legislation. It says that government must consider


expenditure on children and young people a vital long-term investment for the development of the country’s future infrastructure and economy. And if change is to be created, there must be a commitment to a long-term strategy to make sure that no child is left behind.


The campaign follows new research by the


Alliance (Why Are We Failing Our Children?), which shows that activity levels among children and young people have stagnated over the last four decades. It refers to a report published in 1977 by the Alliance, then the CCPR, called Sport and Young People: The Need for Action Now, which highlights many of the issues that would, depressingly, feel very familiar today. “Many of the issues highlighted in the CCPR


#RightToBeActive


The #RightToBeActive campaign asks those across society, including parents, to join the call for government to embed the fundamental right of all children to be active in policy, regulations and legislation.


Government must consider expenditure on children and young people a vital long-term investment for the development of this country’s future infrastructure and economy.


If change is to be created, there must be a commitment to a long-term strategy to make sure that no child is left behind, says the organisation.


“There must be stronger collaboration between government, sport, recreation, education and parents if we are to get children and young people active,” says Emma Boggis, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.


“Collectively, we must deliver these improvements and we have to deal with the fact that the sector is not working and is failing to deliver meaningful change.”


12 pactfacilities.co.uk


in 1977 are still salient today. The sector isn't inclusive enough, children are not active enough and we are failing to make our offer attractive and fun. The other depressing familiarity lies in the gap between the urgency of the message and tone and the reality of what's being delivered. Our research highlights a mismatch between what we call the 'grand narrative' of the importance of the issue and what, in reality, is often a patchy and short-term response,” says James Allen, director of policy, governance and external affairs at the Alliance. Generally speaking, despite a lot of effort


and investment and some highly successful individual initiatives, children are less active now than they were 40 years ago. So, why have we made so little progress?


There are a number of reasons, says Allen. “The system hasn't been co-ordinated enough


and has lacked a clear, overarching purpose. There have been lots of good initiatives and programmes, but these haven't been joined up enough and nor have we listened enough to what children and young people want, or learned enough from international examples.” The complexity and confusion of the system


is another major issue. “There is duplication and fragmentation and there has been a lack of political leadership in


elevating the issue to the highest level of importance,” he says. The research finds that wider issues of


political turbulence and a lack of consistency or long-term strategy have combined to deliver disappointing results overall. The Alliance also acknowledges that its own


role within this debate has not been active or consistent enough over a long period. The priority now, it says, is to look to the future and to make sure it takes decisive action, with an appropriate long-term vision for enhanced outcomes.


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