Putting the Blueprint to work: Where do we go from here?

Following the ukactive’s biggest and most successful National Summit and the launch of ‘ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain,’ Stan Jackson looks back on the event and asks what is next in turning the tide of inactivity.

Unveiling the Blueprint

The ukactive Blueprint is the first draft of the government’s Physical Activity Act, enshrining activity policy at the top-table of national priorities.”

Last week, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson used her opening keynote speech at ukactive’s annual National Summit to launch ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain.
This document has been a long time in the making. It’s a vision document setting out what, where and how the government, in close collaboration with the physical  activity sector, can get the nation moving again. It covers a number of key areas such as public health, the role of the NHS, the wellbeing workforce, active travel and active workplaces, as well as looking at ways to promote activity within under-represented groups such as disabled people and older adults.

Launching the message at ukactive’s National Summit

This central message – Building an Active Britain – was at the core of the ukactive Blueprint’slaunch event and explored throughout the day.  Over five hundred speakers and delegates from across the country and physical activity landscape – those with a background in public health, the fitness industry, local authorities and leading charities – came together at the Emirates Stadium, to explore how the sector can work together and with Government to fully deliver on our ambition of an active life for everyone.

In the morning session Jane Ellison, Government Minister for Public Health,
and Tracey  Crouch, Minister for Sport, delivered keynote speeches signalling their commitment to activity – activity in the broadest sense of the word, not solely to drive sport participation or tackle obesity – and despite having to remain tight-lipped ahead of the launch of their respective Sports and  Childhood Obesity strategies, both indicated that promoting active lifestyles
will play a central role in their future work.

This sentiment was echoed throughout the entire day, at what has been ukactive’s
biggest and best National Summit yet. We explored the ground breaking, innovative
approaches other countries are using to give children the healthiest, most active start to life possible.  We learned how the physical activity sector workforce can be developed to its full potential, and how activity can be fully embedded in local health systems.
From the Government Ministers, to the President of the Royal College of GPs, the Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, Public Health England’s Lead in Health and Wellbeing and the Chief Exec of Sport England – the thoughts and speeches of some of the most accomplished figures in the physical activity sector today increasingly coalesced around one truth: that Building an Active Britain, and fully capitalising on the ‘miracle cure’ of activity in health policy, requires a comprehensive response from the very top of Government.

And the days that followed showed this message has resonated far beyond just the physical
activity sector.  ukactive’s Blueprint for an Active Britain featured in national papers including
the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Mirror, and in specialist news like the GP-read Pulse
and Local Government News.

Looking forward to a more active future

The ukactive Blueprint has laid out a clear roadmap of what needs to happen to embed physical activity in every aspect of daily life: prioritising inactivity as a standalone, top-tier threat to the nation’s health – equivalent to, but distinct from, obesity –
integrating activity into the care pathways of the NHS, and radically reimagining where we live, where we work and how we travel.  Here at ukactive, alongside our four thousand members and partners, we must now demonstrate the role we can play in getting the nation active while challenging key government departments, bodies, frameworks and initiatives to join us in going further.

As always, ukactive’s members will remain at the heart of everything we do; creating the networks and landscape for leisure providers to thrive and grow.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more about the Blueprint or how you can play a part.

If you are a ukactive member and would like to contribute to our blog, please send an email to adelawal@ukactive.org.uk