Introduction at the time said, “Our aim


policy is known as a governmental function, implementing action-oriented
strategies focusing on achieving long-term objectives. (Davies, 2000). When a
new government enters office, policies are created to set out ideologies and
aims for the next five years of government. In 2008 the Playing to win: A new
era for sport policy was created by The Department for Culture, Media, and
Sport (DCMS). This assignment will include a review of the policy, highlighting
the aims of the policy, how it affected sports, how it might have increased
participation in sport and if the policy proved to be a success.

(2008) Playing to win: A new era for sport.

policy had a change in direction from its predecessor; A strategy for
delivering government’s sports and physical activity objectives in 2002. The
focus in 2002 was known as “sport as a social intervention” DCMS/Strategy Unit
(2002) and due to the winning the bid of the London Olympics in 2005 the focus
was now on creating a ‘playing to win’ culture in English sport. Collins (2010)
acknowledged that the sports policies tend to have a sudden change in
priorities but not the magnitude of going from physical activity objectives to
playing to win. This suggests the importance London 2012 was going to be big
for sport in the UK and how the government believed it would have a
long-lasting impact on participation and future medal winners.


Burnham Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at the time said, “Our
aim is to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting
activities, support the pursuit of excellence, and champion the tourism,
creative and leisure industries”. With London 2012 in mind, there was a focus
simply to win, in the first number pages of the document Andy expressed how he
wanted to expand the collection of elite athletes in England to win medals and
break records. For this to be measured, a figure had to be set as a benchmark
to see whether this statement could be achieved. No figure was set, however,
the secretary of state at the time aimed to get 2million people more active by
2012. This can have interpreted as a change in direction or having two separate
aims. However, it has been identified by Grix and Carmichael (2012) that
investment in elite sport, results in better athletes, which in turn provides
mass sports participation, resulting in a greater chance for elite champions of
the future to be developed. This was also supported by Van Bottenburg (2002)
who outlined that having role model champions in sports encourages
participation of that sport.

it planned to achieve its aims

the policy wanted national governing bodies to target young people from all
walks of life, developing a competitive structure throughout the UK; and to
allow them to have access to modern sports clubs. They aimed to do this by
inspiring more people to get off the sofa and playing sport, providing a fun
and competitive experience which will allow individuals to succeed. This all
would not be possible without UK Sport which provides funding and is the agency
for elite sport and athletes in the United Kingdom. Sport England is the agency
for grassroots sports within the UK. Both are accountable to the DCMS, meaning
they are a department run by the government, accountable to the treasury.
Government targets are set and must be followed if organizations want
government funding. (Grix and Carmichael, 2012)

first challenge was to tackle the decline in participation in school sport. In
2002, only 25% of 5-16-year-old students took part in a minimum of 2 hours of
PE and sport each week.  PE, School
Sport, and Club Links, ambition was to increase this to 75% by 2006 and by 2008
aim for an 85% increase, this target was met a year early, with 86% doing at
least 2 hours in 2006/07. (DCMS, 2008).

it planned to increased participation and how

policy required support from, Youth Sport Trust, Sport England and UK sport,
all three funders had plans in place to increase participation and improve the
elite athlete.

Sport Trust was responsible for supporting the delivery of the “PE and Sport
Strategy for Young People, working with Sport England and led by DCMS and DCSF
to”: grow the number of 5-16-year old participating in at least 2 hours of PE
and sport in school each week. They want to do this by creating new
opportunities for 5-16-year olds to participate in a further three hours each
week of sporting activity. (DCMS, 2008). However, this is easier said than done
as Houlihan and Lindsey (2008) questioned whether the absence of sports clubs
in lower economic areas, I school club’s links would be established as
regularly as traditional ‘middle-class sports’ in middle-class areas.

England wanted to create a community sports system to increase participation
and development in sporting participants across all levels of the performance
pyramid. Their aims were to increase participation by no less than 1 million
consistent participants by 2012/2013 and decreasing the 16+ drop off in
participants by creating state of the art sports clubs and developing coaches
to develop sporting participants. (DCMS, 2008).

Sport’s aim was simple, to be the front-runner on the development of
world-class sporting athletes, with a focus on winning medals at international
championships such as the Olympic Games. To do this they wanted to create a
“world leading high-performance sporting system” that will support the
development of elite athletes in years to come. As UK Sport is responsible for
investment money into the development in elite athletes, the government along
with UK Sport’s “ultimate goal” for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was
for their Olympic Athletes to finish 4th in the medal table Paralympic Athletes
to finish 2nd.

the policy achieved

Team GB was able to finish 3rd in the medal table with a total of 65 medals, 29
of them being gold. This resulted in being Team GB’s most successful Olympic
games since 1908. (Olympic Games, 2018). In the Paralympics Team GB finished
3rd in the medal table, with a total of 120 medals. Although, they tightly
missed out on their desired 2nd place to Russia who achieved a medal total of
102 but narrowly missed out to 2nd place as Russia had two more gold medals.
(Paralympics medals table, 2018).

it brought change (within schools and participation)

example of a school sport project is; The School Games. This is funded by Sport
England, delivered by Youth Sport Trust, this originally was created in 2006
before Playing to win was written. Although it began before the playing to win
policy was created in 2006 as a single annual multi-sport competition, during
2010 it was developed into a chance for primary and secondary school students
to compete at local and county levels. There were even competitions for the
most talented athletes when in 2012 the first national final was hosted at the
Olympic park. This shows the impact the Olympic games had on participation and
initiatives once it was announced it was being hosted in London. Thankfully for
the young people during the 2016/17 academic year 2.2 million participates had
an opportunity to take part in local inter-school events. (Your School Games,


confirms from Tew, Copeland, and Till (2012) that the London 2012 is the ?rst
Olympic and Paralympic Games to openly try and develop “socioeconomic legacies”
for which their aim was clearly detailed to deliver a health legacy by getting
two million more people more active by 2012″ However, Mahtani et al. (2013, cited
in Chen & Henry, 2016) identified that there was a lack of evidence to
support the belief that hosting an Olympic game results in an increased
participation in physical activity for hosting nations. However, the DCMS
Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation (2015) policy highlights
that legacy from London 2012, is that 1.65 million more people are
participating in sport from when the bid was won in 2005. Overall this suggests
the importance of the Playing to win policy and the positive impact it had on
medal winners and the increase of physical and sport participation.