Historical Development And Uk Government In Sports

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Historical Development and UK Government in Sports

Historical Development and UK Government in Sports


The UK has a long history of sports, having figured prominently in their world-wide development. Many sports - for example tennis, golf, association football, rugby, badminton and cricket - originated, or were first popularised in the UK. Similarly many organised recreations, such as cycling, camping and canoeing, originated in the UK. The structure of UK sport often appears complex and irregular because each sport has developed in its own individual way, and not as part of a centrally directed plan. Going back many years, opportunities for sport were prominent in the armed services, universities and the public schools. There was then a gradual development of national and representative bodies until today the UK has a full range at British (UK) and at the four home country levels. Most of these are in membership of, or recognised by, the European and/or world governing bodies. The picture is further complicated by some 35 governing bodies covering the whole of Ireland - both Eire and Northern Ireland, e.g. rugby union. (Joel Fish and Susan Magee, 2003, 65-76)


In 1935, by the foresight and determination of Phyllis Colson, the Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) was formed in London and extended to Scotland and Wales (although until 1944 it was known as the Central Council of Representative Physical Training) with a further extension of its executive work to Northern Ireland in 1949. In 1957 the CCPR established a committee: "To examine factors affecting the development of games, sports and outdoor activities in the United Kingdom and to make recommendations to the CCPR as to any practical measures which should be taken by statutory or voluntary bodies in order that these activities may play their full part in promoting the general welfare of the community". (Joel Fish and Susan Magee, 2003, 65-76) The committee was chaired by Sir John Wolfenden, and as such became known as the Wolfenden Committee, leading to The Wolfenden Report.

A total of over fifty recommendations were made to the CCPR, one of which would subsequently shape the future administration of sport in the United Kingdom. This recommendation sought the establishment of a 'Sports Development Council' which would receive finance from the government and disperse it in the most appropriate directions.

In July 1961 the Ministry of Education, which provided grants to the CCPR, significantly increased that support, and additional money was also made available to assist other voluntary projects to promote sport and recreation.

In 1963 Lord Hailsham was appointed by a Conservative government as Minister with Special Responsibility for Sport, the first time formal recognition was given to the importance of this area of activity. His appointment again generated additional government spending for the CCPR. Following the election of a Labour government in 1964, Mr Denis (later Lord) Howell MP was made Minister with Special Responsibility for Sport, and the following year the government decided that, based on ...
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