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Sport (Deprivation And Youth Crime)

Volume 403: debated on Monday 7 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on her Department's policies to help tackle deprivation and youth crime through sport. [106815]

The Government believe that sport can play a valuable part in achieving a range of social objectives such as alleviating economic and social deprivation, reducing crime, improving health and tackling social exclusion. This policy was set out in The Government's Plan for Sport and re-iterated in the joint DCMS/Strategy Unit report Game—Plan published in December last year.A number of measures to-achieve these objectives are in place. The policy-directions issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State require Sport England, in considering applications for Lottery funding, to have regard to their scope for reducing economic and social deprivation, to promoting access to sport for people from all sections of society and to promoting a knowledge and interest in sport in children and young people. Programmes such as Space for Sport and the Arts, the New Opportunities Fund School PE and Sport funding, the PE, School Sport and Club Links initiative and the Community Club Development programme are all targeted at deprived areas and at under-represented groups such as people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and women.Sport England is involved in a range of initiatives and programmes which target deprivation and social inclusion. Its Lottery strategy provides for 50 per cent. of its funding to be directed to areas of greatest need and its Active Communities Development Fund specifically aims to increase participation amongst women and girls, people on low incomes, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. It also works in close partnership with a range of organisations including the Home Office on Positive Futures, a programme which aims to reduce crime, anti-social behaviour and drug taking among 10–16 year olds, and the Commission for Racial Equality on the Sporting Equals programme which aims to promote racial equality in sport.