VIEW FROM THE HOUSE
EACH August and September that the Olympics and Paralympics begin, I feel that we should celebrate the fact that Buckinghamshire was the birthplace of the Paralympic movement, at Stoke Mandeville.
Our Paralympians are training hard for Rio and I hope the athletes will enjoy the same golden glory as they did four years ago during the London games – not to forget silver success and bronze bonanzas as well. Good luck to our athletes and to everyone like their coaches and family members who support them, too. Earlier in the summer, we were all delighted for a bit of a break from the political rollercoaster to cheer on Andy Murray as he won his second Wimbledon title, but all credit to the BBC who raised awareness of the players who also won titles during the wheelchair tennis competition.
Gordon Reid won the men’s singles and with his partner Alfie Hewett won the men’s doubles. Jordanne Whiley was victorious in the women’s wheelchair doubles. (Let’s not forget that another British player, Heather Watson, won the mixed doubles title too.)
Certain groups, including people with disabilities, are ‘ significantly less likely to play sport and be physically active than the population in general.’ These words come from a government report, Sporting Future: A new strategy for an active nation, published last December.
Sport England is to set out targets to increase participation in sport, by early 2017, to be agreed with the government.
The definition of physical activity is to take part for 30 minutes a week. There is a lot of discussion with the organisations representing sport about how to make their sports more accessible.
One other development is to recognise that in the past the definition of activity may have been too formal and thus a new survey called Active Lives looks at extending this to include a wider range of outdoor activities, rather than limiting this to the traditional sports.
DOMINIC GRIEVE MP for Beaconsfield