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Senior Sport

update: The Sports Council was replaced by Sport England in 1997 and is the brand name for the English Sports Council and is a non-departmental public body under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The Sports Council, as an advisory body, was organised by the government in 1966 and was based on the existing Central Council for Physical Recreation (CCPR).

In 1971 a government grant was given to the advisory Sports Council to develop British sport.

In 1972, a Royal Charter established the Sports Council, which took over and was structured round the CCPR.

Its aims were:

  1. To increase participation in sport and physical recreation
  2. To increase the quality and quantity of sports facilities
  3. To raise standards in performance
  4. To provide information for and about sport.

The Sports Council Campaigns

'Sport for All' (1972)

This campaign set out to encourage all members of the community to participatein sport.

However, it was found that sport was not the same for all and this led to the Sports Council targeting specific groups in the future.

'Sport for All - Disabled People' (1981)

During the International Year of the Disabled in 1981, the Sports Council launched this campaign.

Its aims were:

  1. To make people aware of the needs of disabled people
  2. To encourage disabled people to take part in physical activities
  3. To integrate people with and without disabilities through sport
  4. To make sure that disabled people have suitable facilities and coaching.

'Fifty Plus - All to Play For' (1983)

This was aimed at older people, particularly the 50 - 60 years age group.

Local and regional sports councils arranged special sessions throughout the country.

'Ever Thought of Sport?' (1985)

This campaign was targeted at 13 - 24 years age group and coincided with the International Year of the Youth.

'What's Your Sport?' (1987)

This campaign was sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board to raise awareness of where and how to take part in sport.

'Milk in Action for Women' (1989)

This was launched to encourage women to participate in sporting activities with taster sessions set up all over the country.

Senior Sport

'Year of Sport'(1991)

This campaign coincided with the world student games, which were staged in Sheffield during 1991.


The Sports Council has set up a number of world-class facilities throughout the country to help raise the levels of performance in a variety of sports.

The National Sports Centres
Location and Name Specialist Activities
Crystal Palace, Norwood, England Swimming, badminton, athletics
Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham, England Rowing, sailing, canoeing and other water sports
Bisham Abbey, Marlow, England Tennis, weightlifting, rugby and hockey
Lilleshall, Newport, England Football, gymnastics, squash, volleyball and golf
Plas y Brenin, Capel Curig, Wales Outdoor activities, mountaineering
Scottish National Water Sports Centre, Cumbria All water sports and related activities
Inverclyde National Sports Centre, Largs Gymnastics, golf, squash and hockey
Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Scotland Skiing and other outdoor activities
National Sports Centre for Wales, Cardiff, Wales Basketball, gymnastics, badminton, swimming and tennis
Plas Menai National Water Sports Centre Water sports
The Northern Ireland Centre for Outdoor Activities, Tollymore All outdoor activities.