15 October 2013
A five-year vision for the development of sport in Jersey has been launched.
‘Fit For The Future’, which covers general physical activity as well as organised sport, aims to use the 2015 NatWest Island Games in Jersey as a springboard for greater interest and participation in sport.
The strategy aims to use the power of sport to:
- encourage more islanders to take part more often in physical activity
- inspire young people to make sport a habit for life
- develop social cohesion and positive behaviour
- improve islanders’ health
- support our most talented athletes and raise Jersey’s profile in national and international competitions
Improved school swimming and a greater emphasis on school-age sport are two of the proposals in the plan. It also aims to increase participation levels through improved access to facilities and by expanding the Exercise Referral scheme.
Extra States funding to support the strategy was announced by Treasury Minister Senator Philip Ozouf as part of the 2014 Budget proposals. £4.5 million will be invested over the next two years to improve sports facilities and infrastructure If approved by the States. Extra funding will be used to support initiatives that improve sport in Jersey and get more people active.
ESC Assistant Minister Deputy Roy Le Herissier, who has responsibility for sport, said “The timing of the strategy is ideal. It coincides with the NatWest Island Games in Jersey in 2015, which gives us an opportunity to prepare, participate and build a legacy for Jersey sport.
“It is fantastic news that the value of sport has been recognised at a political level and that the funding has been made available to ensure its success. We have a unique opportunity to use the power of sport in many ways, not just for visitors but also for the benefit of our own community. The Island Games gives us a perfect springboard. As the world starts to climb out of recession it gives people of all ages an incentive to do something different, perhaps volunteering or maybe even inspiring them to pick up a racquet, join a club or try a new sport. We hope these will become habits for the rest of their lives.”
The strategy supports the creation of a new organising body to oversee sport in Jersey, an initiative backed by two-thirds of the people who took part in a public consultation in Spring 2013. The roles and responsibilities of the new body will be defined over the next few months but one of its focuses will be to provide better co-ordination and a stronger political voice for the sector. It will receive some States funding that currently sits with ESC but will also have the flexibility to maximise sponsorship opportunities.