asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will consider seeking powers to establish a national scheme for providing adequate insurance cover for amateur players in all sports; and if he will make a statement;
(2) if he will hold discussions with representatives of each amateur sport in this country with a view to devising appropriate insurance schemes to cover the risk of injury, disablement or death to players involved in each sport; and if he will make a statement.
Insurance cover for amateur players is essentially a matter for the governing bodies of sport and the individuals concerned. The Central Council of Physical Recreation has recently drawn the attention of governing bodies to the value of having a comprehensive insurance scheme and is always ready to advise them on the introduction of a Scheme suited to their particular sport.
My hon. Friend and I have something in common. He referees in soccer, and I referee in rugby. Does he agree that consideration should be given to the provision of adequate cover in each sport, and to easy administration to enable voluntary workers in each sport to cover every player in the sport? Is he aware that a large number of injuries go unrecorded, and that therefore sports players are at a disadvantage compared with workmen under the Industrial Injuries Act?
I am aware of most of those considerations. My hon. Friend will be glad to know that since he put down the Question there has been a conference of 58 governing bodies in sport, and because the Question was put down I asked the Director of the Sports Council to draw their attention to the subject and to its importance.
There are very good insurance schemes available to sports clubs. I shall be glad and anxious to make them well known to those bodies which do not yet use them.