MPs pack the room at Sporta's first Parliamentary Reception
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MPs pack the room at Sporta's first Parliamentary Reception

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The Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal, a former Culture Secretary of State and three former sports ministers were among the peers, MPs, trustees and officials that packed out the Members Dining Room in the House of Commons last week for sporta's first Parliamentary event.

Sir George Young Bt MP, Tessa Jowell MP, Kate Hoey MP, Gerry Sutcliffe MP and Richard Caborn were among more than 200 guests that led Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, to state that it was 'one of the busiest sport-related receptions she had ever attended within the House of Commons' during her address.

Foreign Minister Jeremy Browne MP and Brendan Foster CBE, former distance runner, Olympic medallist and founder of the Great North Run, also attended the event, which was sponsored by Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse and Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, both areas where leisure trusts run a number of highly successful facilities.

The reception marked the culmination of sporta's campaign to raise awareness of the work of cultural and leisure trusts across England, Scotland and Wales. sporta represents more than 100 charitable social enterprises, which in partnership with local authorities, operate around a third of all public leisure and community cultural facilities.

Addressing the crowd, sporta Chair Craig McAteer described the role of leisure trusts in increasing participation and positive lifestyle changes within the local communities they serve. He said their job was not without its challenges, particularly in the light of austerity measures and carbon reduction targets, but highlighted the huge sums of money that have been ploughed back into communities through the surpluses made by the facilities that sporta members manage.

Sport England's Jennie Price said that the sport sector must wholeheartedly grasp the opportunities that the London 2012 Games bring to the UK this year. She said the challenge will be how we make sure we are ready for the queues of people inspired by the Games and deliver a lasting sporting legacy.

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The Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal, a former Culture Secretary of State and three former sports ministers were among the peers, MPs, trustees and officials that packed out the Members Dining Room in the House of Commons last week for sporta's first Parliamentary event.
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