Supporting Sport in South Derbyshire and the UK.

I thought it would be good to talk about how South Derbyshire and the UK is leading the way in sport. In my work as Parliamentary Private Secretary to John Whittingdale MP Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport I am constantly seeing good news about participation in sport.

We all enjoyed watching the London Marathon and like me I am sure many of you sponsored runners helping them raise money for many amazing charities who do such great work. One such runner was my Constituent Mark Conlin who ran for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world’s leading type 1 diabetes research charity. It was a pleasure to meet Mar k and his son Matthew in Westminster last week, their work for charity is exemplary and they should be very proud of raising more than £2800. I also want to congratulate my neighbouring MP for Derby North Amanda Solloway for running the London Marathon for Rethink which provide support and care for those suffering with mental illness.

The public participation in sport since the UK hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games has been amazing, more people are now active and our Olympic legacy to ‘Inspire a Generation’ is still alive. The Government’s Sports Strategy released in December 2015 aims at strengthening sport from the grassroots to the elite and it extended Sport England’s remit to include projects for ages 5 to pensioners. We also committed to support our elite Olympic and Paralympic athletes beyond Rio 2016 through to Tokyo 2020 with more money from the exchequer.

Golf is a success story in South Derbyshire, our local clubs and the recent opening of Swadlincote Golf Centre are providing a noticeable economic impact, providing good jobs and apprenticeships for local people. Last week I attended an adjournment debate on the ‘Economic Value of Golf’ where Minister for Sport and Tourism David Evennett mentioned South Derbyshire specifically. It was excellent to hear our area being promoted in the House of Commons and I look forward to seeing more success stories in the future. I have also attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf’s Parliamentary event to celebrate National Golf Month where it was great to take part on their small putting green and hear more about national golfing successes.

Last week was also the FA’s Girls Football Week where with the help of Baroness Campbell they held an event on New Palace Yard to showcase young girls learning skills from FA coaches. For the MPs and Lords who attended the event was tremendous fun and I congratulate the FA on helping promote women in Football.

South Derbyshire has great sports clubs and it is really easy to get involved, so come on!

(This article was originally written for the Burton Mail).