The importance of evidence and data
“Whilst there remains a need for bold solutions to the participation challenge, we need to clearly evidence what works and be prepared to build upon it.” (p39)
A clear focus for women and girls on the sports field AND in the workplace
“We expect to see clear and sustained evidence of cultural change across sports from the perspectives of participants, spectators and the workforce alike to create a sector that everyone can enjoy being a part of.” (p73)
The strategy rightly highlights that equality, diversity and inclusion is a topic that spans not just the sports field and the spectator stands, but also the offices and backrooms where women work. Our Voice of Women Working in Sport report found that a third of women felt that the industry was biased towards men and almost no women saw gender equality. Awareness, education, and meaningful actions across the sector are needed to improve gender equality for women working in sport and this is something we are continuing to explore within our research.
Active travel for the health of the nation and the planet
The strategy sets a clear ambition to support active travel to and from school, with a commitment of £21 million to the Bikeability Trust to provide cycle training for children and families to encourage as many people as possible to take up cycling. The strategy also talks about how active travel can be incorporated into a social prescribing approach and how it can help make more local sports clubs more accessible.
“This local plan should extend beyond traditional leisure venues and consider adapting the built and natural environment to encourage people to be active through their everyday lives.” (p49)
We know from our extensive work within the cycling and micromobility industry that one of the most important parts of the jigsaw to increasing cycling mobility is helping people to make the transition from leisure cycling to commuter cycling. To do this we need to look at local road networks, cycling infrastructure (e.g. bike storage), people’s concerns about safety, as well as the supply of cycling equipment. Our work with partners within the UK and across Europe highlights the importance of partnerships dedicate to making active travel a part of more people’s lives. While the strategy does not touch on a delivery plan for cycling mobility in particular, we sincerely hope it is on the to-do list within government and industry teams.
We would welcome the opportunity to support any organisations working with the industry with a focus on any of the above three focus areas. Please reach out to talk to us.