Sport in the UK

Part of Social Security – in the House of Commons at 7:18 pm on 4th February 2019.

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Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 7:18 pm, 4th February 2019

I would be happy for the hon. Gentleman to write to me about it. As I think I have made clear tonight, trust and integrity are paramount in sport.

Our sport, internationally, has a massive part to play in our global reputation. We can travel the world and meet people who do not know much about our home town, but they will know if our local football club is in the Champions’ League or has been in an FA cup final. As we leave the European Union, we will work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Trade to ensure that the incredible contribution of sport can be part of our international profile, and part of our vision for global Britain. I recently met the Japanese Sports Minister, who is keen to learn from our experience of hosting major events so that the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and Olympics can be an inclusive experience for everyone.

We can continue to deliver major world events, and this summer we will host the cricket world cup, with an expected global audience of 1.5 billion people. It will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our country, bring communities together and get more people to be active. It is not just cricket—I will rattle through the other sports. The world wheelchair curling championships take place in Stirling in March; Liverpool host the netball world cup in July; the world road-cycling championships take place in Yorkshire in 2019; UEFA 2020 Euro fixtures take place at Hampden Park and Wembley; and the UEFA women’s Euros and rugby league take place in 2021, with matches hosted all over England. I am delighted that the benefits will be experienced across the country.

Our investment in major events will deliver opportunities for everyone. Everywhere, people we be able to see at first hand that sport is great. Of course, we look forward to hosting the 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham, which will be the biggest sporting and cultural event in the west midlands ever. All those global sports events offer a fantastic opportunity to showcase the UK to the world, and give us an opportunity to showcase our commitment to fair and inclusive sport, which is why we must take steps to protect the culture and integrity of elite sport.