Damning report finds Jersey Sport needs 'urgent action'

  • Fred Dimbleby takes a look at what this review means for sport in Jersey

An independent report into Jersey Sport has said "urgent action is needed to put things right".

The independent body was set up in 2017 to promote sport on the island, but a breadth of issues were highlighted in this damning 115-page report.

The report's author, Simon Cooper, who is the former Head of Sport for the Mayor of London, said there were "a catalogue of broken promises" to sports organisations and criticised the "lack of clarity" between the States and the sports body.

The report questioned whether the millions of taxpayer funds spent on Jersey Sport had been spent wisely.

But professionals who focus on the development of local athletes believe bigger plans were promised than what was able to be delivered.

John Scriven, an athlete development specialist, said: "We've given it a little too much and it just needed a narrower focus.

"I can understand why we've got to where we are but we must now change that."

The review made 21 recommendations for the government and Jersey Sport to consider.

Most of these recommendations have been accepted by Jersey's Sports Minister, Deputy Lucy Stephenson, who commissioned the review as part of the 2023 Ministerial Delivery Plans.

She told ITV News: "The report makes it very clear that Jersey Sport does some very good work so I think it would be wrong to say at this stage it shouldn't exist.

"What we've got to do is work better and more collaboratively and in a much clearer way."

The report also flagged concerning health statistics in Jersey, with only 51% of adults and under a fifth of children currently reach the recommended levels of physical activity.

Want to find out more about the stories making the headlines? Don't miss Channelcast - the Channel Islands current affairs podcast brought to you by ITV News: