The Sports Action Plan announced last week is a blueprint for Government investment, Sport Ireland enabling, and stakeholder delivery in sport over the next two years.
We are looking at the seven key focus areas one by one and in this instalment, we are looking at the recommendations made around programmes and events.
There are four action points under the heading.
5.1 Convene a youth-centred stakeholder forum to guide the adoption of the strategic framework recommended in the Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study 2018 (CSPPA 2018).
The percentage of youth that undertake the recommended level of daily activity is lower than one would hope in a plan to make the entire population more active. Bringing children into the process of determining how to improve that is honourable, but there is a danger that it will be the most enthusiastic for sport that are attracted to make their views known. It will also be important to capture the thoughts of those who are not engaged by sport and activity at present.
5.2 Recognising the pivotal role and influence of parents and guardians on children and young people, LSPs and NGBs will promote the greater availability of local community events, accessible to all, family-friendly recreational sports opportunities, particularly in rural communities. An increased number of community sport hubs will be established countrywide.
Again an important recognition of one of the key influences on a child’s behaviour but might it also be useful to make events school-friendly, to capture the whole population and not just those who might already be at the higher end of the enthusiasm scale.
5.3 Reflecting the life course perspective inherent in the NSP prioritised participation sports, expand the coverage of the Get Ireland Walking, Cycling, Swimming and Running programmes for all ages, with a particular emphasis on the needs of the elderly.
Sport for life is an important core value and one that is more so as the population ages. Once you maintain your mind and your mobility you will never feel old. Keeping older cohorts in mind when designing and adapting sport will also play to those who have higher levels of disposable income.
5.4 Implement and invest in an Outdoor Recreation Policy to increase participation in sport and physical activity in the outdoors for all ages.
Making use of our natural infrastructure provides value in body, soul and economy. Creating safe pathways to enjoy the nature around us in a physical rather than a virtual way has to be a winner.
Join us tomorrow when we will look at the areas of plans, strategies, research and evaluation.
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