Continued long-term government investment in school sport and physical activity is a ‘no brainer’, the CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance has told our Talking Sport & Tech podcast.
Lisa Wainwright MBE has spoken about her organisation’s campaigning efforts around the PE and Sport Premium for primary schools on the latest episode of Talking Sport & Tech, the podcast from Sport Tech Hub by London Sport.
The Department for Education funding is part of the government’s school sport and activity action plan and provides primary schools with £320 million to make improvements to the quality of their PE, physical activity, and sport provision.
It was introduced in 2013 and in February 2014 the government, under Prime Minister David Cameron, committed the funding through to 2020. It has since been extended for a further year twice.
Wainwright said: “We are lobbying hard in relation to the PE and School Sport funding which is always short-term. That, to me, is a no-brainer in terms of funding school sport and physical activity.
“Let’s get the habits early. Let’s get the family habits early, so we’re not spending millions and millions, maybe billions, of pounds years later in the NHS where we’re hitting huge problems around obesity, around loneliness, and ploughing money into charities to try and resolve that.
“For me, one of the key things is around prevention being the absolute backstop, rather than cure.”
Presenters Alex Zurita and Milly Pelmore also got a glimpse into Wainwright’s leadership style and philosophies; particularly her mission to create space for innovation and risk taking in the sector.
She added: “If you are a leader, and you have a vision, that will necessitate change.
“Some people are comfortable with change, some people are just not comfortable with change and it’s all about motivations and understanding people.
“It’s about understanding how you can drive that cultural change within the organisation, who you listen to and who drives with you, and sometimes who you have to let go of, because some people aren’t for change.
“If you put all your resource and reserve into those who won’t change, no matter how much time you put into them, you’re not working for the 98% who you could probably persuade.”