Sport in England - Structure

Structure

England has its own national team in most team sports, but the United Kingdom sends a combined team to the Olympics, which is formally "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" but commonly referred to as "Great Britain". Competition between the home nations was traditionally at the centre of British sporting life, but it has become less important in recent decades. In particular, football's British Home Championship no longer takes place. In some sports there are still national English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish teams.

The club competitions in most team sports are also English affairs rather than British ones. There are various anomalies however, such as the participation of the three largest Welsh football clubs in the English league system and an English club in the Scottish Football League.

The relative prominence of national team and club competition varies from sport to sport. In football, club competition is at the centre of the agenda most of the time because clubs plays more matches each year, but the four national teams are also followed avidly. In cricket the national team is much more widely followed than the county competitions, which have a limited profile, whereas in rugby league club competition generally overshadows international fixtures. Rugby union falls between these two with very high profile international competitions and a strengthening club game.

Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England. There are five National Sports Centres: Bisham Abbey, Crystal Palace, Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, Lilleshall and Plas Y Brenin National Mountain Centre. Everyday Sport is Sport England’s physical activity campaign. There are 49 County Sport Partnerships in England with areas for responsibility separated by Local Authority County boundaries.

The English Institute of Sport is a nationwide network of support services, aimed at improving the standard of English athletes. Services include sports medicine, physiotherapy, sports massage, applied physiology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, psychology and Performance Lifestyle support. It is based at 8 regional hubs and other satellite centres.

The Minister for Sport and Tourism and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have responsibility for sport in England.

Read more about this topic:  Sport In England

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