Sport: Public Health

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th June 2018.

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Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire 12:00 am, 19th June 2018

What recent assessment he has made of the public health benefits of participation in sport.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There is a strong body of evidence on the health benefits of participating in sport— possibly not watching it, if last night is anything to go by. Last year, a review by Sport England brought together evidence to show the association between sport and physical and mental wellbeing.

Photo of Craig Tracey Craig Tracey Conservative, North Warwickshire

As the Minister may be aware, I co-chair the all-party parliamentary group for golf—a sport sometimes labelled, rather unfairly, a good walk spoiled. Does he agree that there are many positive health benefits associated with participation in golf, especially for people with long-term conditions?

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I certainly would, as someone who used to work in the golf industry before coming to the House. I was at Wentworth last month for the PGA, and a good example of what my hon. Friend refers to is a social enterprise that I met called Golf in Society led by an inspirational chap called Anthony Blackburn. He founded a project at Lincoln Golf Centre that works with people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease to show that golf is one of the best leisure activities out there, and gives people with those long-term conditions a sense that their life is not over and that they can still play golf, and play it rather well—probably better than me.

Photo of Ruth Smeeth Ruth Smeeth Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

In 2016, Stoke-on-Trent was the European city of sport, but it faces some of the highest health inequalities in the country. The Stoke newspaper The Sentinel highlighted the power of exercise in its recent NHS SOS campaign. Will the Minister meet the editor Martin Tideswell and my hon. Friend Gareth Snell to receive details of that incredibly important local campaign?

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

I am aware of that campaign. Something that we want to see in schools across the country, including in Stoke, is the Golden Mile. I see good examples in schools in my constituency and across the country when I travel. We are interested to learn more about what Stoke has done on this subject.