Sports strategy: Apps to play a 'key role' in getting disadvantaged communities active, says Tracey Crouch
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Sports strategy: Apps to play a 'key role' in getting disadvantaged communities active, says Tracey Crouch

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Sports minister Tracey Crouch has highlighted the importance of technology and apps in trying to mobilise people from disadvantaged communities to get active.

During her last Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) questions session in the House of Commons this morning (21 January) before she goes on maternity leave, the Chatham and Aylesford MP said that she wanted to use technology reach “certain members of society” to ensure participation.

Following a question from the Labour Party’s MP for Brent in north-west London, Barry Gardiner, about the role of apps and digitalisation projecting information about physical activity to “communities at most disadvantage”, Crouch said technology had been “referenced with interest” in the government’s sports strategy, Sporting Future.

“Having met with his [Gardiner’s] constituents about this I know there’s a great deal of work being done to increase the number of apps to make sure technology plays a key part in getting the nation active,” she said.

The sports strategy references the developers who have “capitalised on ways for users to capture and share their data through apps or wearable technology”, which have “seen success in attracting new participants”. It also reflects on the “power of social media” to engage new and existing participants.

Crouch additionally pinpointed schemes such as the Premier League Kicks project and rugby union’s Hitz, which use their respective sports to counter anti-social behaviour and rehabilitate young offenders.

She said the initiatives were “exactly the kinds of projects that will play a key role in delivering the new sports strategy”, adding: “I’m a huge fan of both schemes. The Kicks project shows 75 per cent of its participants live in the top 30 per cent most deprived areas in England, and where the scheme has been run it has seen a 60 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour.”

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Sports minister Tracey Crouch has highlighted the importance of technology and apps in trying to mobilise people from disadvantaged communities to get active.
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