The election is now less than 2 weeks away and most of the political parties have now released their party manifestos alongside a great deal of speculation from the general public.
Below, Newitts takes a look at how some of the main political party policies could affect the role of sport within the UK in the future.
The Conservative Party is keen to build on the success and legacy of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. As such it wants sportsmen and women to win even more medals in Rio 2016 by continuing to support elite sports funding. Further policies from their latest 2015 manifesto are outlined below:
"Conservatives - Improve the quality of Community Sports facilities"
- Be successful in delivering some of the key sporting events of the next five years and help to increase tourism and jobs within the UK.
- Support new sports in the UK by forging better links with key sporting groups in the US.
- Boost sport in the community - over 18,000 schools have already registered to take part in the party's School Games.
- Support primary school sport with £150 million a year, paid directly to head-teachers, until 2020 to make sure that all primary school children benefit from School Games and receive a minimum of two hours high-class sport and PE each week.
- Improve the quality of Community Sports facilities, working with local authorities, the Football Association and the Premier League to fund investment in artificial football pitches in more than 30 cities across England.
- Continue to invest in participation and physical activity, recognising sport’s vital benefits to health and to NHS England’s campaign to prevent diabetes.
Labour released a new policy in July 2014 entitled 'More Sport for All'. Labour said that the new policy was created out of a determination, "for everyone, from children through to the elderly, to do more sport and physical activity" and "a commitment to improve participation in sport in every part of the country". Below is a summary of how Labour intends to improve the role of sport in the UK in its latest 2015 manifesto:
"Labour - Children will have the opportunity to take part in sports taster days and sports-related after school clubs"
- Children will participate in a minimum of two hours of organised sport every week at school and will have the opportunity to take part in "sports taster days" and sports-related after-school clubs.
- Football - the party will provide the means for supporters to be a genuine part of their clubs by introducing legislation to enable accredited supporters trusts to appoint and remove at least two of the directors of a football club and to purchase shares when the club changes hands.
- Review the role of fan participation in other sports. We will ensure the Premier League delivers on its promise to invest five per cent of its domestic and international television rights income into funding the grassroots.
Despite very little being mentioned in the Liberal Democrat's latest 2015 manifesto on sport, we can derive the party's stance on the issue by referring to a recent interview with John Leech, the MP for Manchester and Withington and the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for sport. In the interview, Leech outlined the following issues:
"Liberal Democrats - Promote the use of safe standing in football stadia"
- Community sport -. the party would like to see an upward trend in participation with a focus on encouraging people to be fit and physically active. Leech said: "We need to ensure that people are staying healthy, not only throughout their teens but also that people who are involved in physical activity need to keep on doing it."
- Promote the use of safe standing in football stadia - the manifesto details a requirement to the Sports Ground Safety Authority to prepare guidance under which domestic football clubs, working with their supporters, may introduce safe standing areas.
- Campaign for funds from the Premier League to support the football pyramid - with funds distributed to organisations such as Supporters Direct. Leech said: "I think that is absolutely justifiable. As revenues grow exponentially, the only real beneficiaries of that are the footballers themselves. we must support football right down the pyramid. Because the Premier League is such a successful export around the world, we must make sure that football in general is the beneficiaries of that."
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
One of the policies in UKIP's manifesto is to abolish the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), despite the party stating "UKIP recognises and values an overarching, unifying British culture".
The DCMS was responsible for the 2012 Olympics in London, a global event which showed off the best Britain has to offer, therefore to consider abolishing this department could have a very negative effect on the role of sport in the UK in the future - the Olympics and other sporting events actively encourage men, women and children of the future to become involved in a wide variety of different sports.
Which party do YOU think has the potential to improve the future of sport in the UK the most, and why? Join in with the debate below.