Make time for football! The social impact of participating in culture and sport

As a professional musician and the mother of a keen athlete, I was interested to learn that the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee are looking into the social impact of participating in culture and sport.

On Tuesday they took evidence from three people: Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England; John Herriman, Chief Executive, Greenhouse Sports; and Deborah Williams, Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network. The questions asked were around the power of culture and sport to address deep-seeded social issues.

Deborah Williams made the point that we need a broader understanding of what culture is, that it is not elitist, but that there are a breadth of cultural opportunities available and space for all to participate. She highlighted the need for education to be for the whole child.

Darren Henley, from Arts Council England, spoke to the social benefits of the arts, that they are for everyone around the country. He felt more listening to what people want needs to be done, to engage those who are not currently involved in the arts.

John Herriman made the point that when he asked someone about addressing knife crime in London, the answer given was to give young people more opportunities for sport. Engaging young people in sport enables them to thrive and builds community.

These are just some snippets from the inquiry’s oral evidence on Tuesday. If you wish to participate, you can send a written submission to the inquiry here. The deadline has been extended due to demand.

* Kirsten Johnson was the PPC for Oxford East in the 2017 General Election. She is a pianist and composer at www.kirstenjohnsonpiano.com.

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4 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 21st Jun '18 - 7:53pm

    Cricket was used for social engineering in India during the Raj.
    India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have become very good at cricket and Bangladesh have beaten Australia. The success of the social engineering is doubtful.

  • Michael Bukola 22nd Jun '18 - 9:38am

    My issue here is that Culture in a British context over the generations is often used to develop systems of patronage as a way of gaining influence and control. The Arts, Sport, and the British Armed Forces are often our Nations “Go-To” arenas for integrating those of migrant-background into our society. The Greeks and the Romans started it and the British followed in the form of sport with now former colonies either in the Indian sub-continent, the Caribbean or the South Pacific often being the best exponents of sports like Cricket, Boxing, Hockey & Rugby. The Commonwealth Games still exists as a lasting memorial to that age.

    As the PPC for Camberwell and Peckham, I am all too aware of the social problems experienced by our young people. I dare say, that if you ask individuals like Johnson Beharry, or Anthony Joshua or Rio Ferdinand about the impact of Sport or an armed forces career had on their lives, they would say that these things have been life changing but to the masses at large, i remain sceptical

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Jun '18 - 11:49am

    Michael Bukola
    If you consider boxing to be a sport please also consider the effect it can have on the physical health of, for instance, Muhammed Ali.
    Boxing is legalised fighting.

  • Michael Bukola 22nd Jun '18 - 12:44pm

    Richard Underhill. All sports carry a degree of risk but safety has improved immeasurably in recent years and will continue to do so. There are obvious health benefits to boxing which help to reduce stress and challenge aggression.

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