What is the future of sport and mass participation?

Wednesday 8th May 13:05 - 14:00

In recent years Team GB have achieved record breaking medal hauls in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games – and appear to be on track to repeat this success in Tokyo in 2020. The success of the UK’s high performance sport system, since the advent of National Lottery funding in the 1990s, has been remarkable.

Yet the challenge remains - how do we utilise this success to both influence and inspire, to change the behaviours of the wider population in terms of mass participation to deliver wider physical and mental health.

This challenge set against the backdrop of an ever changing sporting world, with many influences and areas of transition – from the blend of sports, to public interest and the changing nature of consumption of content and attention spans, to the role of virtual reality and e sport and how this sits with traditional sport, to the views on sport for all or sport for winners, to the consideration of gender issues in sport – presents a further food for thought.

When considering the future of sport and future funding - how can we ensure that sport remains relevant in a changing world – both in the way we view and consume content, and the way we engage with sport. A recent future funding consultation explores some of these issues with a range of stakeholders to answer some of these questions.

This session will explore -

How to build on medal successes meeting Government’s ambitious vision of using high performance sport to promote inspiration, participation, economic growth and social impacts on physical and mental health in wider society?

Should priority be given to sports with the greatest public access to participation or those with the widest social reach and impact?

What is the future of sport and how can we use sport to both influence and inspire future generations?


Chris Grant, Managing Director at 14A


Nico Heslop, Head of Sport at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Nigel Walker, National Director at English Institute of Sport

Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive at UK Sport

Michael Stark, Deputy Head of Sport at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport