At our recent health and well-being round table the key message coming through was that sport and physical activity professionals must show leadership at a strategic level to meet the challenges of the public health agenda.
The roundtable, facilitated by cCLOA and hosted by the Local Government Association, drew upon expertise from organisations including CIMSPA, the County Sports Partnership Network, the Department of Health and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
There has never been a more opportune time to maximise the value and contribution that the culture and sport sector can make to creating healthier, stronger and happier communities. And in view of the contribution that the sport and physical activity sector can make to stemming the tide of escalating health care costs, cCLOA is now seeking to facilitate a more unified approach amongst councils, culture, sport and leisure providers, the third sector and health partners.
The roundtable discussions clearly demonstrated that we have to be proactive in our position with health and well-being boards and local commissioners – and to be successful in this we need to focus on local need, provide good data on impact, improve our knowledge base and exhibit leadership at a strategic level.
The sport and physical activity sector has an opportunity to make a difference to our health; through everyday activity, helping influence lifestyle and inspiring a generation through sport. But we need to be creative, utilise non-traditional methods and understand who our customers are and what they want.
We all recognise that sport and physical activity has a significant role to play in preventing avoidable illness and tackling obesity, but across the country the implementation and success of long-term interventions has been patchy. Public health needs to be part of the DNA of the industry and people in the sector need to win the hearts and minds of health professionals.
The roundtable has been invaluable in setting the scene for cCLOA’s guidance and support across health and well-being. We have also forged the opportunity for a single message that all sector organisations can buy into – so let’s get on with it.
Richard Hunt – Chair, Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association