Agenda item


The Director of Delivery, Communications and Political Governance submits a report on the draft Sports and Physical Activity Strategy.


The Director of Delivery, Communications and Political Governance submitted a report on the Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Strategy.


Councillor Singh Clair, Deputy City Mayor for Culture, Leisure, Sport and Regulatory Services, introduced the item. It was noted that a large amount of work had been done engaging with community groups, in partnership with the Health Department. He highlighted the decline in physical and corresponding mental health and noted the importance of encouraging involvement in sports and physical activity in the city.


Andrew Beddow, Head of Sports and Victoria Ball, Sport and Active Recreation Development Manager presented the report and noted the following points:


·       The Sports and Physical Activity Strategy presented was its third iteration and the tone of the strategy had shifted to reflect its change in target demographic to Leicester’s inactive population.

·       A steep increase in inactivity and decrease in physical and mental health had been noted since the Covid-19 pandemic, which came with a corresponding increase in challenges faced when encouraging inactive residents into sports and physical activity.

·       It was acknowledged that focus needed to be placed on the inactive population which would see the most benefit, being the most susceptible to long-term health conditions.

·       Future targets included meeting with stakeholders to collaborate and work on an action plan, and a launch of the strategy was expected in late May / June 2023.


Members questioned whether the strategy was at risk of losing anything in the re-direction toward priority groups. It was noted that there were no foreseeable changes to current communities or groups when adapting and prioritising resources to those most in need.


Members asked how the strategy planned to reach inactive priority groups where there was an acknowledged struggle in engagement. It was noted that improvements to communication and marketing were required, which would be reviewed when collaborating with partners and undertaking consultations. It was noted that review outcomes in the Women in Sports Task Group Review highlighted lack of awareness of opportunities in communities across the city and tackling that lack of awareness was crucial in delivering the strategy effectively.


The Chair enquired about which body would lead the strategy. It was noted that Leicester City Council would lead in a collaborative governance style alongside partners, which could evolve into a steering group.


The Chair questioned how the performance of the strategy would be measured. It was noted that the Sports England Active Lives Survey and Public Health data for children would be used to keep track of statistics for inactivity in Leicester.


Councillors recommended that the strategy work with local ward Councillors, who had a better overview of their respective wards. Officers agreed to communicate with ward councillors to further the strategy.


The Chair enquired about what funding the strategy received and highlighted the importance of joining forces with partners of the scheme. It was noted that the aim was for the scheme to use the market sector to apply for funding, alongside asking organisations of Leicester to assist in meeting the needs of the city.


Mike Dalzell, Director of Tourism, Culture and Inward Investment suggested the strategy work together with Leicester walking and cycling trails to encourage physical activity and community involvement with historic Leicester. Sally Slade, Active Travel Team Leader, suggested connecting and collaborating with the Walk Leicester Festival.




1.    That the report be noted.

2.    That Ward Councillors be kept informed and involved in the strategy to help local residents to increase participation in sports and physical activities.

3.    That the final strategy come back to the Scrutiny Commission, and the actions plans in the strategy be monitored by the scrutiny.

4.    That Members comments and views raised in be taken into account by officers managing sports services.

5.    That the 1% reduction target be monitored at future scrutiny meetings.

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