Sport and physical activity has a “vital role” to play in helping to tackle some of society’s biggest problems, according to Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth.
The Chief Executive was speaking after a new report, commissioned by Sport England, revealed how every £1 spent on community sport and physical activity generates nearly £4 for the economy and society across the nation.
The report by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University shows that investment in sport and physical activity creates a return across health and social care, improves wellbeing, builds stronger communities and develops skills in the economy.
Investing in community sport and physical activity also plays an important role in boosting the economy and provides the opportunity to help level up inequalities within communities, and build a healthier, happier and more prosperous society generating £3.91 in value for every £1 spent.
Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth said: “Today more than ever community sport and activity has a vital role to play in offering a solution to some of society’s biggest problems like our health, both mental and physical, helping to make life fairer for everyone, and growing and improving our economy.
“Everyone has a responsibility to keep our nation active. This new research provides evidence that can help local authorities, businesses and the voluntary sector to understand the value of promoting activity, especially as it will play an important part in helping the national to recover from the challenges 2020 has brought.”
The research shows how physical activity plays an important role in preventing a number of serious physical and mental health conditions, with a value to the economy of £9.5bn. Of this amount, £5.2bn was in healthcare savings, while £1.7bn was in social care savings.
A further £20bn in value came from stronger and safer communities, with 10,000 fewer crime incidents and improved levels of social trust, belonging and community engagement worth £14.2bn.
The research gives a clear picture of how community sport and physical activity significantly contributes positively to all five outcomes identified in the Government’s sports strategy, Sporting Future.