Sport ‘saves Island £18m.’

A report in the health and social value of sport was published by Government in November 2023 (37550397)

RECREATIONAL sport and physical activity saved the Island nearly £18.7 million in healthcare costs in 2019, according to a report published by the government.

The consultation report was conducted by 4GLOBAL in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Industry Research Centre, as commissioned by the government.

The report also found that public leisure venues, such as Les Quennevais and Fort Regent, had contributed over £4.5 million in social value to the Island, while just under 7,800 cases of health conditions were prevented in 2019 as a result of sport and physical activity participation across Jersey.

The Government of Jersey published the report on 29 November last year on the same day it published a separate review into sport and physical activity policy, strategy and delivery and the relationship between the Government and Jersey Sport entitled “A Review of Sport and Physical Activity in Jersey”. That was accompanied by a press release – however, there was no mention of the 4GLOBAL report and its findings. Nor was there an official response to the report’s findings.

The Minister for Sustainable Economic Development, Deputy Kirsten Morel, said: “The value of sport report contained neither recommendations nor actions, so there was no reason to discuss it or promote it, but it has been referenced several times since then. The report’s findings are likely to be used to aid discussions across government regarding funding for sport and physical activity,” adding: “the economic value of sport could not be determined due to the lack of available Jersey-specific data”.

The report found that females and those aged 65 and above “were the highest contributors to social value in Jersey in 2019”. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a 40% drop in total social value generated by leisure sites in Jersey during 2020 but by 2022 that value had recovered to 92% of pre-Covid levels. Meanwhile, £18.7 million in healthcare savings was primarily driven by prevention of Type 2 diabetes and dementia.

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