The latest sport participation numbers are out today: there are fewer young people playing sport and also fewer women taking part *. In contrast to missed activity targets, and falling participation rates, Fields in Trust’s Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge has so far ensured that over 15,000 acres of accessible outdoor recreational space will forever be present in communities.
From bike trails to football pitches, parks and playing fields, the local sites provide existing and future generations with the chance to take part in local sports and outdoor activities. More than 493 landowners have joined with Fields in Trust to dedicate their sites for permanent protection as Queen Elizabeth II Fields. This is a vital element to driving sports engagement. It is also important that local authorities as the main provider of outdoor sports facilities continue to mark out and maintain pitches to good quality and that, while we understand the financial pressures on all authorities, pitch hire prices should remain affordable in the context of what the local users can pay.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge gives the country a chance for the Olympics to drive grassroots sports fundamentally. It is crucial that we do not feel downhearted at the recent participation statistics: with the support of our sponsors Asda, the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is working to ensure a sporting legacy from the momentous events of 2012 – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics. The more landowners that get behind the Challenge and the inspirational leadership of its patron The Duke of Cambridge, the more access there will be for future generations to play grassroots sports,” Alison Moore-Gwyn, Chief Executive of Fields in Trust said.
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