RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer has added his name to an open letter addressed to the UK’s major political party leaders.
The letter calls on the leaders of Government to address what the signatories describe as “an alarming trend” threatening the wellbeing of young people throughout the UK.
It challenges the likes of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn to make a commitment during their election campaigns that they will “better harness the power of play, sport and physical education” and ensure that every young person enjoys an hour of sport and physical activity each day.
Rimmer’s name appears as one of the signatories alongside CEOs from across UK sport, including the FA’s Mark Bullingham and the RFU’s Steve Grainger.
The letter in full:
“On behalf the country’s leading sport organisations, we ask for your commitment to tackle an alarming trend.
“The wellbeing of young people across the UK is in decline. This comes at a time when they are increasingly missing out on the benefits of sport and play. Only one in five young people is active for 60 minutes every day and Physical Education is being squeezed from the timetable in many secondary schools.
“We believe that the inactivity of young people, and the associated problems this is posing for their physical and mental health and wellbeing. is nothing short of a public health emergency. Too many are growing up overweight or obese, unhappy, lost and lonely.
“We ask for your public commitment during this General Election campaign that, should your party form the next government, you would set out a long-term, bold and measurable plan to:
“1. Tackle the decline in young people’s wellbeing through harnessing the power of play. sport and physical education
“2. Ensure every young person enjoys an hour a day of sport and physical activity, backed up by good quality teacher training and investment in school sport facilities.
“During this campaign you will be setting out some of your biggest priorities for shaping our country’s future.
“We urge you to make this one of them.”
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