Sandwell five year strategy for Physical Activity, PE and Sport

Knight Kavanagh & Page (KKP) has developed a five year strategy (2009-2014) for the Sandwell Physical Activity Board to provide a focus for physical activity, PE and sport in Sandwell and drive improving standards and the achievement of national, regional and local targets.

The Board was established in 2007 to build on key partnerships across the Borough and to acknowledge the recognised need for a more coherent, strategic approach to work in this area.

Sport England's 2006 Active People Survey identified that 14.9% of all adults (aged 16+) in Sandwell take part in the recommended 30 minutes of sport/active recreation three times per week; one of the lowest adult participation rates in the country. Furthermore, 57% of Sandwell residents surveyed reported zero participation in sport and active recreation.

The brief was also to develop a strategy to contribute to Sandwell's Local Area Agreement priorities. Linked aims were to help embed concepts and practices into the work of partners, encourage greater social responsibility and contribute to the Every Child Matters agenda.

The strategy was underpinned by the findings of face to face consultation with more than 80 local authority officers, elected members, partners and stakeholders. This was specifically geared to clarifying the current position within Sandwell and the identification of key issues.

In a clear, straightforward document designed to be easily adopted and understood by all parties, from the Council Cabinet to members of the general public, the Strategy was based upon six themes to provide direction and focus: 

  • Partnership - strengthening partnerships by creating a co-ordinated, integrated approach based on a robust framework for action. 
  • Promotion - so that all service providers communicate a consistent, simple, clear message relating to the benefits of physical activity and what actually constitutes a healthy lifestyle.
  • People - introducing Physical Activity co-ordinators and local champions to ensure that appropriate opportunities are available and help and support more people to be physically active.
  • Places - to enable people to access jobs, services, family and friends in an active way and ensure that sufficient, good quality outdoor and indoor locations dedicated to physical activity area are easily accessible by all modes of transport. 
  • Providers - planning and delivering activities covering all angles including family and community based setting, school sport and club infrastructures. 
  • Performance - recognising that effective monitoring and evaluation is essential to assessing strategy implementation and the effectiveness of partners' contributions.

Jayne Piller is Physical Education and Sport Strategy Manager at Sandwell Borough Council and a key member of the Physical Activity Board. Commenting on the strategic support provided she said:

"KKP has played an integral role, working with us, not for us, in the development of this strategy. The Entitlement and Activity Pathway and accompanying management framework that the team has developed for us gives clear direction that all partners can practically follow to ensure strategy implementation is effective and achievable."

Once board  and cabinet approval was received for the final strategy, KKP worked with associates Access Advertising to design and print a published document for general circulation at the Strategy Launch. 

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