The Central Council of Physical Recreation, the umbrella body for the national governing bodies of sport and recreation, today unveiled its ‘Challenge to the Government’ at a meeting in Westminster.   The Challenge calls upon the government to place sport and recreation higher on the political agenda and seeks a genuine commitment for more sustained support and financial investment in the UK’s sports system.

British Cycling supports CCPR’s challenge on extra funding for sport

The CCPR challenges the government to support all those working to provide "fair, accessible, high quality sport and recreation for all."

There ought to double the current Exchequer funding for sport and recreation, said CCPR. Volunteers and their organisations should also be shielded from "trivial and unnecessary regulation and legislation."

Instead of the few minutes of arm-waving kids get right now, CCPR wants school children to a minimum of two hours’ physical activity within curriculum time.

"In order for this to be achieved it is vital that sport and recreation enjoy the same levels of funding that have for so long been the preserve of the arts," said Margaret Talbot, CEO of CCPR.

"Sport and recreation have for decades suffered from under-funding and there is an absolute need for more sustainable, high levels of investment in a system which is increasingly expected, not only to win medals and championships and benefit our 2012 Olympic bid, but also to help solve the nation’s problems of obesity, social exclusion, rising crime and poor educational achievement.”

Andy Reed. MP for Loughborough, is CCPR’ political champion. He said: “I strongly believe that sport can make a difference to people’s lives and that for too long its role has been undervalued by government. The CCPR have identified actions in their Challenge which are not only realistic, but will make a huge difference. If we can manage this, it will help to lay down the foundations of a sustainable sporting system for decades to come – a huge asset for the nation and for the 2012 Olympic bid.”

Peter King, CEO of British Cycling, said:

“We support the Challenge as we agree that sport is substantially under-funded if it is, indeed, to make a major contribution to the government’s social agendas in the way that ministers tell us it can.

"Cycling has delivered success built on the foundation of Exchequer and Lottery funding better than any other sport in the past two Olympic cycles and is the only sport that can contribute across the board to not just health, education and social inclusion but also to environmental and transportation issues.”

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