Active 8 Funding: Joint Statement

The Chairs of the Guernsey Sports Commission and the Health Improvement Commission, Jon Ravenscroft and Mike Bane, have expressed their strong support for the amendments to the recently released Government Work Plan policy letter proposed by Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture. These amendments seek to continue funding for the Active 8 Sports Strategy whilst acknowledging the financial constraints faced by the States of Guernsey 

Mike Bane commented as follows: “The proposals put forward by Deputy Dudley-Owen should be seen as an investment not a cost. The Active 8 plan that was presented to the States of Deliberation in March 2020, and overwhelmingly supported, says: Sport and physical activity have a unique ability to bring people together and promote a sense of belonging, as well as innumerable physical health, wellbeing and mental health benefits.

That statement is truer now than ever. The benefits of sport and activity are increasingly evident and the cost-benefits of properly targeted activities are supported by research. The funding proposed for the Active 8 strategy will enable both Commissions to provide the people of Guernsey, regardless of age, background or level of ability, the opportunities and pathways to participate in sport and stay active in the manner most suited to them, thereby reducing their burden on the state” 

Jon Ravenscroft said: “Whilst we are pleased that the Committee will be leading this amendment, the funding being proposed for the Sports Commission still falls some way short of what we need to be able to deliver the Active 8 workstreams in full. We will continue to rely on the private funding we receive in support of a range of our work across the community and will need to increase this further to be able to deliver the objectives of Active 8. If this amendment does not receive widespread support from Deputies then our work promoting the good governance of sport, our support for broadening PE experiences in secondary schools and our support for children from vulnerable families to access sport outside of school will be seriously curtailed. These are just some examples of the work we have been doing as part of the Active 8 Strategy for Sport. 

“We look forward to the opportunity to explain to Deputies the impact of our work and the importance of this funding continuing.” 

Mike Bane and Jon Ravenscroft conclude: “We encourage deputies to support the amendment and we look forward to working with the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture to develop renewed service level agreements that clearly identify how we can fulfil our Commissions’ responsibilities for making our island community more healthy and active.”