Olympic leaders call for combined effort to expand the sport for development sector
29 May 2012
Sir Clive Woodward and Sir Keith Mills. Hammersmith Park, Shepherd's Bush, London.
Two of the UK's leading sports figures, Sir Keith Mills and Sir
Clive Woodward say more needs to be done to ensure that
disadvantaged young people are given access to sport, insisting
that involvement in sport could have a profound impact on some of
the UK's greatest social issues.
The two men were speaking at an event in West London, where Sir
Clive was being unveiled as an ambassador of Sir Keith's 2012
legacy organisation, sported.
sported., established by Sir Keith Mills, the Deputy Chairman of
LOCOG in 2009, works with thousands of community groups across the
UK helping them to deliver sports programmes to young people many
of whom face real challenges in their lives. These organisations
all use sport as the hook to engage and educate disadvantaged young
people enabling them to develop confidence, motivation, personal
and social skills which ultimately leads to more positive young
people and communities.
"I have seen first-hand just how these groups, like Horn of Africa,
who we have visited today, are changing young people's lives right
across the UK and we believe there could be as many as ten thousand
of these groups who all need support," said Sir Keith Mills.
"We (sported.) as an organisation are doing all we can to ensure
that these groups remain sustainable and can continue to deliver
their important work but much more needs to be done to provide for
this sport for development sector, especially if we are to have any
impact at all on some of the social issues that this country
In pledging his support to sported. Sir Clive backed up Sir Keith's
statement calling for a greater awareness from government agencies
and governing bodies of the sport for development sector and what
it can achieve in a social context.
"This is a largely unknown sector of sport in this country but
sport for development is probably having a far greater impact on
some of the most challenging young people in our socieities than
other areas of sport so you have to question why it doesn't receive
greater support. I feel honoured to be involved in something that
is this powerful and I would encourage all other sports leaders and
personalities to do the same."