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The Sport and Recreation Alliance and ukactive have today (20 November) announced a sport and physical activity hustings with the main political parties in the build-up to the General Election.

The invite-only debate, to be held on Wednesday 4 December at the Kia Oval Cricket Ground, will provide the sector with a chance to examine the ambitions and priorities for sport and physical activity with representatives from the main political parties.

The event, sponsored by School Lettings Solutions, will be independently chaired by The Athletics’ Matt Slater, with the panel to be confirmed over the coming week.

So far, campaigning for the general election has paid little attention to the role that sport and physical activity can play in society, despite fantastic recent success from our national sports teams and growing evidence from the sector of its success in combatting a physical inactivity crisis that costs the UK £20bn per annum.

The evening will focus on how the sector can support the main political parties in its ambitions around prevention and public health by creating physical activity opportunities for all.

It will also provide the main parties with a chance to present their plans for a healthier, more active nation.

ukactive and the Sport and Recreation Alliance have also called for a commitment from the new government to sit down with them to discuss what is needed to achieve this, once they have been elected.

Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, Lisa Wainwright said: “It is common place to see a high-ranking parliamentary official at major sports events.

Wimbledon, the Cricket World Cup and the Six Nations are a few of those opportunities that our politicians use to show their support for physical activity in our country.

It is time for this support to transition into policy. Away from the camera flashes, the celebrations and the congratulations. This support needs to be for everyone, it needs to be sustainable, it needs to create an active nation.

We look forward to hearing how our members want to work with the new government and how the new government can put the sector at the centre of its decision making.”

Huw Edwards, ukactive’s CEO added: “As the leading organisations in the sport and physical activity sector, this is a great opportunity for our members to understand the main political parties’ direction of travel and for them to hear our voices.

“We want this election campaign to focus more on how our sector can play an important role in the preventative agenda, positioning sport and physical activity at the heart of a variety of social challenges.

“We have called on political parties to have sport and physical activity within their policies, and the next step is for the sector to step up and show the next government what works best.”