The UK Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport has today launched "Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation" ©DCMS

The UK Government intends to widen anti-doping education to all levels of sport as part of a new strategy announced by Sports Minister Tracey Crouch today.

The pledge is made in the document entitled "Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation", which outlines aims to tackle the flatlining levels of sport participation and high levels of inactivity across Britain.

It comes just weeks after the launch of "Get Set for the Spirit of Sport", a values-based education programme designed to help 10 to 14-year-olds learn about clean sport, by the British Olympic Association (BOA), UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) and British Paralympic Association (BPA).

This followed the UK Government’s announcement last month that UKAD would receive an increase in funding of £400,000 ($597,000/€551,000) or seven per cent of its budget.

"Anti-doping is one of the most important fights in the battle for sport’s integrity," reads the document on the strategy.

"UKAD is one of the world’s leading national anti-doping agencies.

"It is at the forefront of testing, intelligence and education, and gives the UK a reputation for having one of the strongest anti-doping regimes in the world.

"This reputation allows both UKAD and the UK Government to exert its influence internationally to improve the fight against doping, through both the European Committee for the World Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency itself.

"We will ensure that UKAD continues to be funded at the levels needed for it to further enhance this strong reputation."

The document adds: "Government will work with UKAD to widen its education work and ensure a strong anti-doping message is promoted at all levels of sport from school and grassroots sport through every tier of competitive sport right up to the elite level."

British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch says the Government wants to give everyone
British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch says the Government wants to give everyone "the best possible experience of sport from the earliest age" ©Getty Images

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead welcomed the new strategy and its "ongoing commitment to protecting clean sport in the UK".

She added: "We are particularly delighted that the Government has committed to widening anti-doping education to all levels of sport.

"Everyone has the right to clean sport and educating those who participate in sport at all levels is integral to preventing doping.

"From protecting medal hopes by supporting elite athletes and coaching staff to understand the anti-doping rules, regulations and processes, through to safeguarding the health of young people by teaching them to make the right choices, anti-doping education is a vital part of the sports strategy in the UK."

"Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation" will see Sport England’s remit change from investing in sport for those aged 14 and over to supporting people from five-years-old right through to pensioners, in a bid to create a more active nation.

Investment will be targeted at sport projects that have a meaningful, measurable impact on how they are improving people’s lives - from helping young people gain skills to get into work, to tackling social inclusion and improving physical and mental health.

Funding will also be targeted at groups who have low participation rates to encourage those who do not take part in sport and physical activity to get involved.

This includes supporting women, disabled people, those in lower socio-economic groups and older people.

Sport England is also due to set up a new fund in 2016 to get inactive people physically active and will support and measure participation in sport and wider physical activity going forward.

At the elite end of sport, the Government is supporting Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes beyond Rio 2016 through to Tokyo 2020 with increased Exchequer funding.

As for sports governance, UK Sport and Sport England, along with the other Home Nation Sports Councils, are looking to agree a new UK-wide sports governance code by September 2016.

This will attempt to unify the approach by sports governing bodies to governance and look at areas such as Board composition, representation and transparency.

The code will be mandatory for all sports bodies that want to receive public funding from 2017.

Additionally, the Government, UK Sport, the Home Nation Sports Councils and the devolved administrations propose to work together on a new strategy for Britain to bid for and host some of the biggest events in world sport in the years to come. 

"Sport has an incredible power to do social good and that is what our new strategy is all about," said Crouch.

"We will invest in sport and physical activity that shows how it can have a positive impact on people’s lives, how it brings communities together while ensuring it continues to make a significant contribution to the economy too.

"We want to give everyone the best possible experience of sport from the earliest age which is why Sport England will now support children from five-years-old.

"We also want to maintain Britain’s reputation as one of the leading nations in the world for putting on major sporting events while making sure we are the best in the world on good governance too."

For more details click Sporting Future.pdf.

Related stories
December 2015: Britain's UKAD to help Russian Anti-Doping Agency after declared non-compliant
November 2015: British Olympic Association help launch programme to educate children about clean sport
November 2015: UK Olympic sports funding gets unexpected Government boost
October 2015: UKAD "in jeopardy" warns chairman Kenworthy as organisation faces 25 per cent budget cuts
September 2015: UK Anti-Doping "disappointed" by WADA omission of thyroid medication from 2016 banned list