RFL respond to latest Sport England survey

The RFL have urged the government to protect the investment for school sport following Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey.

Last week, Sport England released the first Active Lives survey, which focused on children and young people.

The survey took into account activity in and out of school and the headline statistic showed that 82% of children are not meeting activity guidelines set by central government.

Rugby Football League chief executive Ralph Rimmer commented: “Everyone involved in physical activity and sport will be keen to understand the survey, and the factors influencing these results.

“We all want to see children benefiting from all the physical and mental health positives which come from regular activity including team sport. It’s a national responsibility we all share.”

Sport England’s survey also showed that children from lower socio-economic areas are less likely to be active than more advantaged children.

Rimmer added: “The report shows there is a clear link between being active and feeling happy and well – we all want this for all children.

“In rugby league we believe it is wrong that physical activity levels are also lower in areas of social and economic deprivation. It is not inevitable – indeed rugby league is one of the leading exceptions in providing outstanding opportunities at the heart of some less advantaged communities.

“Rugby league clubs and volunteers, and teachers in schools, should be very proud that the work they do gives children and young people the chance to play sport regularly and enjoy all the benefits from that.

“There is a significant national challenge to ensure all children have access to high quality sporting opportunities in-school and out of school. There is also much more work to do to ensure that children with disabilities can enjoy sport and we are committed to helping rugby league extend the physical disability and learning disability playing offers to young people as well as adults.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to launch a School Sport and Activity Action Plan in Spring 2019 and we urge government to protect the investment for school sport.”