Shadow Minister For Sport visit
Report by Sport Journalism student, Jack Haynes
On Thursday November 7 Clive Efford, Shadow Minister for Sport and Tourism and MP for Eltham, visited the School of Sport and Service Management on a wide-ranging fact-finding mission, meeting with staff and students.
As well as delivering a curriculum based on research and teaching, the visit offered students the opportunity to interact with the real world of sport and politics.
Efford, one of Britain’s leading sport politicians, spoke to over 150 students about Labour’s most recent policy review, entitled More Sport For All.
The policy review included an extensive consultation with all demographics across the UK, asking them to give their thoughts on the state of sport in their particular area and the overall results have helped shaped the Party’s vision for sport in the future.
Efford, a pivotal figure in the production of this policy review, told students that the current inactivity amongst all demographics is a definite cause for concern.
“We have to accept we have an inactivity crisis and there are problems as people are not keeping themselves active and healthy.
“We’ve got to understand that the way we present sport can be off-putting, particularly to young women; that can lead to a lifetime of inactivity.”
One of the key findings in the More Sport For All document is that the participation of young girls in sport in secondary schools is rapidly declining and Efford feels the government need to address this issue in an individual and inviting manner.
“We’ve got to listen to young women about what they would like to do and try to design our activities in a way that would encourage them to get involved.”
Aside from the policy review’s findings, Efford also outlined his plans to give football fans more of a say in boardroom decisions, as his recent study of 95 supporter organisations demonstrated that “fans want a voice and a potential stake in their club”.
For more of an in-depth analysis of Clive Efford’s guest lecture, visit the university’s Sport Journalism website.