Team GB of the future needs the fields
Yes, funding is essential but don’t forget about the fields themselves
The Olympics have sparked a frenzied focus on the UK’s sporting legacy. On 5 August Lord Moynihan called for greater funding into sports in the UK. The national governing bodies of sport are concerned about future funding cuts following the 2012 Games.
Whilst funding is undoubtedly important in creating and sustaining the sporting stars of the future, it is vital that other elements which nurture sporting ability are not overlooked. A fundamental one is the provision of “where”, the space for people to discover and hone their talent.
Fields in Trust’s Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge programme, supported by Asda plc and the Asda Foundation, addresses this. The Challenge works with local landowners to protect their outdoor recreational spaces – 2,012 of them being the target, by the end of 2012.
“The call for greater sports funding will add pressure to the public purse at a time of cuts and closures. The beauty of the QEII Fields Challenge is that it is a sustainable, low-cost way of ensuring a grassroots sports legacy, one that is tangible and lasts for our children and grandchildren. Protecting the local sports pitches and other outdoor recreational space gives sports clubs and individuals the space to develop sporting talent. The range of sites that can be protected through the Challenge ensures that this effect plays out across a variety of sports. It is crucial that we take this moment to safeguard our sporting legacy for the future. Let’s not look to criticise in advance, let’s look to the future and act now to provide our children with somewhere to nurture the Olympic dreams sparked off by these wonderful 2012 Games. “
Alison Moore-Gwyn, CEO of FIT.