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Sport England/UK Sport

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 9 February 2012

12. What assessment he has made of the effect of the merger of Sport England and UK Sport on (a) Sport Northern Ireland, (b) Sport Wales and (c) Sport Scotland. (94342)

Ministerial and Sports Council colleagues from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been closely involved and the issue was formally discussed at the last sports cabinet. We all agree that the restructuring should be implemented in a way that maintains and improves the links that currently exist between the sports councils, and increases available funding for athletes across the UK, as a result of reduced administrative costs and increased commercial revenue. Everyone has agreed to move forward on the four key points I mentioned.

I very much welcome the Minister’s comments. We all recognise how important sport is in people’s lives, especially young people. Has he taken any specific action to ensure that young people in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland can continue to participate in school games, which are so vital to their development?

Sport in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is clearly a matter for the devolved Governments, but discussions are ongoing with those Administrations and we very much hope that all three countries will compete in the UK school games.