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Olympic Games 2012

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his Department’s definition is of a sport; and whether each event planned for the Olympic Games 2012 meets this definition. (186189)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not have a standard definition of a sport. However, a commonly used definition appears in the Council of Europe European Sports Charter 1993:

“Sport means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.”

The Home Country Sports Councils, for example, take account of the above definition, alongside other considerations, when making determinations about the recognition of an activity as a sport.

The Government are confident that each event planned for the 2012 Games will meet this definition.

The Council of Europe definition does not limit the scope for Ministers to determine, in the context of sports policy development, which sports or activities DCMS should or should not fund.

A list of sports and recreational activities for the local and national government measurement framework from April 2008 will be largely based on the broad definition of sport currently used for the Comprehensive Performance Assessment framework. The definition of sport will be based principally on the notion of moderate intensity, where some degree of physical demand is placed on the participant.

Sport England’s forthcoming strategy on delivering a world leading community sport infrastructure will detail those sports which will fall under its remit to fund.