The sports minister Tracey Crouch has promised to deliver a new strategy for sport “as a matter of urgency” following a decline in participation.
New figures published by Sport England have shown that the number of people playing sport has fallen, with swimming the most badly affected.
Swimming is the country’s most popular sport with more than 2.5m people taking part weekly, but 144,200 fewer have taken to the pool in the last six months and 390,700 in the last year.
Overall the statistics, which cover the period from October 2014 to March 2015, show that 15.5m people participated in some kind of sport once a week, every week – a figure 222,000 fewer than six months ago.
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