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New action plan for sport, health and wellbeing being shaped by University of Gloucestershire lecturer

University of Gloucestershire lecturer Dr Liz Durden-Myers has contributed to a newly published report by the House of Lords recommending the need for a new ambitious national plan for sport, health and wellbeing.

Dr Durden-Myers, Lecturer of Physical Education in the University’s School of Education and Humanities, provided research-based verbal and written evidence to the House of Lords Sport and Recreation committee, who were investigating the case for a national plan for sport and recreation in the UK.

Other experts contributing knowledge and expertise to the committee included New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Sport and Recreation, Grant Robertson, and representatives of UK sports industry bodies and the education sector.

Dr Durden-Myers’ evidence to the committee included a recommendation for physical literacy to be at the centre of physical education, with the provision of clearer guidance and local networks to support senior leaders, generalist teachers and PE specialists, in order to deliver a high-quality physical education offer.

As a co-founder of the International Physical Literacy Association, she broadly welcomed the committee’s call for the development of a long-term cross-government national plan for sport, health and wellbeing that would set out the Government’s long-term vision, aims and objectives.

Dr Durden-Myers (pictured) particularly welcomed its recommendation that PE should become a core national curriculum subject in schools. The committee found that PE was not valued highly enough in schools with inadequate teacher training time focused on PE and physical literacy.

“I was pleased to present the findings of my research to the House of Lords Sport and Recreation committee,” said Dr Durden-Myers, a previous physical education teacher and school sports coordinator.

“The new report is a fantastic opportunity to help shape the future of sport, recreation and physical activity for our nation.

“The pandemic has presented many challenges for physical education, but it has also afforded the profession with the time and opportunity to reflect, re-imagine and reconsider the physical education of the future”.

“Physical literacy has a key role to play in this by facilitating holistic, inclusive and personalised approaches to physical activity promotion and aims to encourage everyone, everywhere to be physically active for life.”