Vote for Sport campaign achieves initial objective
JERSEY SPORT chief executive Catriona McAllister is determined to ensure their recent ‘Vote for Sport’ campaign will continue to ring in the ears of newly-elected politicians, as public support for the initiative nears 900 people.
The independent sporting body called on election hopefuls to make a public pledge to champion sport and active living in the next States Assembly, and over 40 of the 91 candidates vying for votes tomorrow have welcomed that request.
As of yesterday afternoon over 890 Islanders had added their weight to the campaign via jerseysport.je/voteforsport – challenging politicians to invest more heavily in sport and consider the importance of physical activity.
‘I’m really encouraged, not only by the amount of sign-ups but also by the quality of comments on the website and the passion that people have,’ said McAllister.
‘It’s inspiring to see that we as an organisation are on the right lines and we’ve definitely achieved what we set out to in terms of getting politicians to put sport and active living on their agenda.
‘We have been able to give them a baseline understanding of why the government should invest in sport and the impact it has on the economy, health, social inclusion – the list goes on – and some of the candidates really got on board with it.’
A total of 39 candidates signed the body’s ‘Vote for Sport’ pledge board in person, while a handful of others have posted messages of support via the Jersey Sport website.
‘I think 39 is a very good result,’ she added. ‘We’re really pleased with that and the majority of the Senatorial candidates have signed it.
‘This has been our first opportunity to really show why an independent body was required, because the government could not have gone anywhere near anything like this with the restrictions around the elections. We’re delighted to have ramped up our ability to tell politicians what our priorities are.’
McAllister stopped short of saying she would hold those making a pledge ‘to account’, but suggested pressure will still be applied when States members occupy their seats for a four-year stint.
‘We’ll remind them readily and we can certainly say this ‘this person’ or ‘that person’ did sign the pledge,’ she said. ‘But I don’t think we’ll need to do that. I think that will be a last resort.
‘We’ll be continuing to meet with them to build their understanding and we’ll be saying that we need a strong group of politicians who are willing to change the balance between reactive and preventative health spend. We’ll be saying “you need to be bold enough to do that”, and we would like to put pressure on to have a minister for sport at Senatorial level, not just an assistant minister.
‘We’ve got to tackle the issue of one in three children being obese by the end of primary school, and very quickly we’d like to get the Daily Mile [UK initiative] brought into Jersey schools. It increases the ability to learn, and who wouldn’t want that?’
Vote for Sport – pledging candidates*
Carina Alves, Lindsay Ash, Mary Ayling-Phillip, Mark Baker, Simon Brée, Richard Buchanan, Jacqui Carrel, Linda Dodds, Lyndon Farnham, Sarah Ferguson, Juliette Gallichan, Inna Gardiner, Ian Gorst, Geraint Jennings, David Johnson, Jason Lagadu, Ant Lewis, Mary Le Hegarat, Andrew Le Quesne, Frank Luce, Phil Maguire, Bernie Manning, Judy Martin, Kristina Moore, Stevie Ocean, Mary O’Keeffe, Steve Pallett, Kevin Pamplin, Nigel Philpott, Hugh Raymond, Richard Renouf, Richard Rondel, Moz Scott, Barry Shelton, Anne Southern, Monfort Tadier, Graham Truscott, Tracey Vallois, Robert Ward.
*Signatures on Jersey Sport’s pledge board only. Further candidates have pledged online via jerseysport.je/voteforsport.