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Workers should get paid leave to volunteer in grassroots sport, says Sport and Rec Alliance

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Public sector workers should be entitled to at least three days of paid leave if they wish to volunteer in grassroots sport, according to the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

The opportunity to volunteer, said the Alliance, would “benefit both employer and employee” and would “make vital skills available” for not-for-profit sport organisations.

Larger private sector firms should also be urged by government to incorporate the policy over time.

The recommendation is one of several published in the organisation’s manifesto ahead of the 2017 General Election, which calls on the incoming government to put sport and recreation “at the heart of an active nation”.

While campaigning ahead of the 8 June vote will focus mainly on the political parties’ Brexit stance, the Alliance has made clear its desire to see policies such as corporation tax cuts for grassroots sports clubs and the Soft Drinks Levy – which will see millions of pounds pumped into school sport – remain intact regardless of the result.

Other recommendations include: the delivery of the Duty of Care recommendations made by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson; putting physical literacy “on the same footing” as academic literacy and numeracy; and the requirement for local authorities to maintain a public register for sport and physical activity assets.

The government must also “commit to a genuinely joined-up approach” to sport and physical activity, advocated in the Sporting Future strategy the incumbent government published in December 2015.

Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said the organisation wanted to see sport and recreation “being used as part of a cross-departmental approach, which means making sure the scale of funding matches the scale of ambition” for physical activity.

“We know the positive impact sport and recreation can have as a preventative solution to many of the critical public policy challenges the country faces, including obesity and mental health problems,” she added.

“Sport and recreation also plays a much wider role in terms of the economic contribution it makes and the benefits it brings to society – which is why ot must be front of mind for any incoming government.”

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Public sector workers should be entitled to at least three days of paid leave if they wish to volunteer in grassroots sport, according to the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
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