15 October 2018
The Mayor of London has consulted on the draft Sports for All of Us: London Sport Strategy, which closed on 12th October.
London Youth generally supports the vision and themes of the Mayor’s strategy. We strongly support accessible and sustainable community sport provision for its own sake and note the wide range of physical, mental, and social benefits it delivers for young people and London’s communities. The most important points for the Mayor and the GLA to note are:
- Community youth organisations are an important vehicle for engaging young people in sport and physical activity and encouraging social integration.
- It is vital to ensure that funding and support is available and accessible to smaller community youth organisations. Local organisations that have proven programmes and existing relationships should be supported as a priority.
- The Mayor and the GLA should support community youth organisations to partner with businesses, local authorities, and schools and colleges.
- It is vital to invest in positive, high-qualities activities and facilities for young people and to support training and development of youth professionals.
We have compiled this response based on discussions with London Youth members, Coram’s Fields, London Basketball Association (LBA), Mary’s Youth Club, and Pro Touch SA. Thank you to everyone who was involved in the member consultation session and to the GLA’s Sports Team for attending and engaging with us directly.
About the consultation
The strategy acknowledges the physical and mental health benefits of sports and is largely framed in terms of social integration to align with the Mayor’s Social Integration Strategy. The strategy has five priority areas:
- London’s sport, now and in the future (p. 16-21): Building on London’s success and history of sport
- Theme 1: Socially-integrated through sport (p. 27-37): Encouraging Londoners to have strong relationships, be less socially isolated, and be active in their communities
- Theme 2: Healthy and active through sport (p. 38-44): Encouraging Londoners to participate in a variety of sport and physical activity in their local area, with a focus on inactivity and mental health
- Theme 3: Sporting workforce and capacity growth (p. 45-53): Developing and investing in London’s paid and volunteer community sport workforce
- Sports capital of the world (p. 54-60): Continuing to attract major sporting events to the city, while expanding participation in local community sports
The core of the strategy is the new £8.8 million Sports Unites programme (p. 22-26). The community sports programme will invest in initiatives around London that use sport to bring people from different backgrounds together, strengthen local communities, and improve the physical and mental health of all Londoners. The funding will be distributed through a mix of traditional grants funding, as well as a focus on making ‘bottom-up’ funding available to local communities.