It’s only Theresa May’s first day as Prime Minister but charities, associations and businesses are already vying for her attention in order to secure support for their own causes. Not-for-profit organisation, ukactive is one such enterprise calling on the PM as she takes up office. The body which gathers voices from the sports, leisure and lifestyle sector has asked the PM to continue the legacy of David Cameron in tackling the UK’s obesity epidemic.
The former PM’s tenure saw a great number of positive steps taken in respect of encouraging greater physical activity amongst children and young people in particular. The launch of Public Health England’s groundbreaking publication, Sporting Future, in 2013 latched on to the enthusiasm surrounding the Olympics and, with considerable investment, helped to sustain interest in physical activity. The “sugar tax” meanwhile discouraged the consumption of fizzy drinks – a well-known contributor to obesity and poor health – while all money made went towards funding physical activity and sports in schools.
Indeed, Cameron’s policies saw the sports and leisure sector enjoy year-on-year growth, becoming one of the UK’s most profitable.
ukactive is hoping that Theresa May maintains such momentum and is asking her to drive froward new policies geared toward inspiring sporting uptake and physical activity. Tackling childhood obesity remains a key issues fro the organisation and like sporting bodies but Executive Director of ukactive, Steven Ward is positive about the new PM’s appointment.
Specifically, he welcomed the fresh outlook Theresa would doubtless bring following the results of EU referendum and said she would play a crucial role negotiating new, beneficial trade deals for the UK. Stephen Ward also highlighted that the eventual trade deals could leave physical activity firms better off and allow them to collaborate more easily with traders overseas.
For Stephen, the previous government should be lauded for both recognising and beginning to treat the lack of physical activity within the UK. He insisted, however, that much more had to be done before the problem was eradicated and more emphasis should be placed on changing peoples’ attitude toward exercise and sports.
ukactive plans to work closely with the new administration over the next few months in order to make its case and set out ways in which the government can implore an uptake in physical activity and, equally, ways to drive business for its members.