The EU and grassroots sports: call for evidence

20 October 2010

An inquiry into the EU and grassroots sports has been launched today by the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Social Policies and Consumer Protection and invites contributions from across the social, health and educational sectors. The Committee are particularly keen to hear from smaller grassroots sports organisations and those who participate or contribute to such activities in any capacity.

The closing date for written evidence is 17 November 2010. The Committee will begin to take oral evidence from witnesses in November with a view to reporting in the New Year.

The aim of the inquiry is to examine the key benefits of grassroots sport to individuals and society, how participation can be encouraged and how the EU’s new competence in sport can be used to ease existing burdens, promote participation and the contribution grassroots sport can make to society.

The Committee's chair, Baroness Young of Hornsey, said:

“We want to get to the heart of how participating in grassroots sports helps individuals, communities and society more widely.   However, we are aware that there are sometimes obstacles or barriers to people participating, particularly for minority groups, thus preventing sport from fulfilling its potential in all spheres.   We would like to identify what these are and how access, participation and effectiveness can be improved.

“The Committee would like to hear from a broad range of organisations from community groups, clubs and volunteers to sports councils, charities, funding and educational institutions.  Our aim is to use these contributions to feed into and to help shape EU sports policy.”

The Committee will be considering:

  • The benefits of participation in grassroots sport
  • How participation, particularly by minority and under-represented groups can be encouraged
  • Obstacles and barriers which prevent grassroots sport from fulfilling its potential in the social, health and educational spheres
  • How public policy, and particularly EU policy, can help improve participation and the wider contribution of grassroots sport
  • Whether sport is considered sufficiently across all relevant EU policy areas
  • How the new EU Sports Programme should be structured and what its priorities should be

 Image: iStockphoto

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