Sport England seeks aid to influence govt policy

Sport England has issued a tender to public affairs agencies to provide detailed analysis and advice on how sport can positively impact the full range of government policy.

Set up to get the nation more physically active, the government body is eager to maximise sport's contribution to the regeneration agenda, and to improve public health and reduce obesity.

It has put a 12-month contract up for grabs, with fees unspecified. ‘Sport can play a huge role in regeneration, physically through the building of sports facilities, but also in its ability to bring communities together and build mutual understanding,' said Sport England senior PR and public affairs manager Vivien Smiley.

She added that the body wanted to understand how sport could better feed into the Home Office's ‘Respect' agenda to stamp out anti-social behaviour and achieve greater tolerance in Britain's communities.

Financial Dynamics and LLM Communications provide Sport England with corporate PR and board-level political intelligence, having been appointed on a three-year contract earlier this year (PRWeek, 26 May). The body also retains Hill & Knowlton on a consumer brief to support its ongoing ‘Everyday Sport' campaign, encouraging Britons to adopt more active lifestyles.

Sport England remains without a chief executive following Roger Draper's exit to head the Lawn Tennis Association earlier this year, while chair Lord Patrick Carter quits in October. Smiley said the appointment of a new chair would be confirmed by early autumn, and it will be the responsibility of that postholder to appoint a CEO. Stephen Baddeley is currently acting in the role.

Mihir Warty joined Sport England this month as director of policy and performance. He was hired from the BBC, where he was head of strategy for the corporation's strategic projects team (PRWeek, 16 June).

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