Sport England have shared their new strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’; a 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity. Helping grassroots sport and physical activity recover from the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and investing in tackling the challenges of the next decade are the cornerstones of Uniting the Movement.
Below, Hayley Lever, Exec Lead GM Moving and CEO of GreaterSport, who was part of Sport England’s launch event, reflects on the strategy and looks at what this means in Greater Manchester.
“This strategy is really welcome in Greater Manchester. Sport England have worked with us, and people across the country, to grow this conversation and develop the strategy together. Uniting The Movement is a great way to describe it.
This strategy describes what we need to focus on, to support active lives and tackle inequalities. It also sets out how we can work together collaboratively to achieve this.
We in Greater Manchester, and colleagues around the country have appreciated the spirit in which Sport England have engaged far and wide and also in a really targeted way to reach audiences who haven’t previously engaged in this kind of conversation. It has felt different. Open, and collaborative. It signals an intent for the way we can all work together over the next 10 years, alongside people and communities.
It is great to see Sport England describing the leadership and advocacy role that it will play nationally to help unite the movement.
The long term vision of a 10 Year strategy gives us the opportunity to lift our heads up and work towards a healthier, happier future whilst at the same time, deal with the ever present challenges of the pandemic. We have learnt so much together as we have adapted, reimagined and redesigned approaches to support active lives in this very challenging year.
We all have a part to play, whether we’re from health, education, transport, planning, community, sport, physical activity…. or beyond. We can unite in this movement, which will be rooted in communities as we grow informal movement and activity alongside more structured and organised community physical activity and sport.
In Greater Manchester, we have started the refresh of the GM Moving Plan, in the context of Uniting the Movement, and the key reform and transformation strategies that guide us locally. As a local system, we will determine and describe our collective contribution with a 10 year vision for GM Moving in Action, as moving supports our individual and collective recovery from the pandemic..
As CEO of GreaterSport, the Active Partnership for Greater Manchester, I will work with our Board, team and Sport England colleagues, to define our specific role in the future of GM Moving and our contribution to the national strategy.
I have been so proud to be a part of the collective work with partners across the system here this year, as we have worked together to keep GM Moving I know that the people here will respond to the invitation and challenge that this strategy presents us with.
Every organisation, team and individual in Greater Manchester and beyond has the opportunity to do the same in the coming months- so that each of us can make our full contribution to the shared purpose of Uniting the Movement.
We are at the start of a long journey. We’ve made good progress, since launching the first GM Moving Blueprint for Change, in 2015. But there is a long way to go, and some serious repair and recovery work for us to do together in the short term.
We need to change culture, systems, policy, practice and behaviour, if we are going to design moving back into life. This includes a collective need to address the structural inequalities that we know define people’s levels of activity.
We are ready, committed to and re-energised by Uniting the Movement, and the opportunity to work alongside Sport England to create positive change- for the long term future with our people and communities. As Tim Hollingsworth said today: “If not me then who?” We all need to ask ourselves that question, and play our part in leading the change.
For more information and the full Sport England strategy please visit http://unitingthemovement.org/.
Lancashire Lions Visually Impaired Sports Club have gone digital throughout the pandemic to support visually impaired young people to remain active throughout lockdowns