Sports: Commonwealth

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Brian Jenkins Brian Jenkins Labour, Tamworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he (a) has recently taken and (b) plans to take to improve sporting links between the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport)

There are a number of recent initiatives and planned activities, primarily delivered through bodies such as UK Sport and the British Council, designed to improve sporting links between the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries.

UK Sport currently supports sport development projects and programmes which foster school links through sport in 21 Commonwealth countries and plans to work in one further Commonwealth country. UK Sport works in conjunction with the British Council and UNICEF to deliver the international inspiration project to inspire young people in developing countries and communities to take part in sport.

In addition Dreams + Teams is an initiative to promote Youth Leadership and School Links through sport. Dreams + Teams currently operate in the Commonwealth countries (as shown in the table). We anticipate that much of the work on Dreams + Teams will be absorbed into International Inspiration and Premier Skills (a joint development project between the British Council and the Premier League) over the next two years.

UK Sport hosted the Next Step Conference, empowering young sports leaders to champion the Olympic values of friendship and fair play, in Namibia in 2007 where 19 Commonwealth countries were represented.

Representatives from 67 of the 71 Commonwealth Games Associations attended the Commonwealth Sports Development Conference in Glasgow in June 2008 focusing on how sport and development initiatives can raise levels of grass-roots participation and create pathways to excellence both here in the UK and in the developing world, and was hosted by Culture and Sport Glasgow with support from Glasgow city council.

UK Sport and the Commonwealth Games Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2007 for a four year period to develop and broaden the relationship between the two organizations. Additionally, Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport, is also Chair of Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) which was established in 2005 to promote the value of sport as a tool for social, economic, health and educational development. Its advocacy work is directed primarily at the Commonwealth governments through their Ministers of Sport, the Commonwealth secretariat and other key policy-makers.

Countries where UK Sport International Development Programmes and British Council Dreams + Teams programmes are currently working
Country UK Sport International Development Programmes Dreams + Teams
1 Botswana yes yes
2 Cameroon yes yes
3 Ghana yes
4 India yes yes
5 Kenya yes yes
6 Lesotho yes
7 Malawi yes yes
8 Malaysia yes
9 Mauritius yes
10 Mozambique yes
11 Namibia yes yes
12 Nigeria yes yes
13 Pakistan yes
14 Sierra Leone yes
15 Singapore yes
16 South Africa yes yes
17 Sri Lanka yes
18 Tanzania yes yes
19 Trinidad and Tobago yes
20 Uganda yes
21 Zambia yes yes
Bangladesh (1)
(1) There are plans in place to extend work to Bangladesh.

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