Oxford City Council’s Sport & Physical Activity team has achieved an ‘excellent’ rating from Sport England’s national assessment scheme, Quest.
The assessment, called Quest for Active Communities, rewards teams that encourage participation in sport, physical activity and play, and work with communities to deliver high-quality projects.
Quest assesses local authority sport and leisure teams across the UK.
Sport England upgraded the Quest assessment criteria this month (January) to focus more on the wider impact on communities of sport and physical activity, rather than just measuring participation.
Oxford City Council’s Sport & Physical Activity team was part of the pilot for the new assessment.
The assessment, which took place in November, involved a rigorous two-day examination of the team’s work across 12 criteria, and interviewing key partners through a focus group.
The Sport & Physical Activity team, which received the award in December, scored excellent or very good across all 12 criteria. This resulted in the overall score of excellent – the highest possible grade.
The team’s GO Active, Active Women and Youth Ambition projects were all mentioned in the final report as examples of powerful work. Strong leadership, a high-performing and motivated team, and the team’s excellent reputation for quality, value and impact were also highlighted.
The City Council’s Sport & Physical Activity team delivers a wide range of projects and activities to get Oxford residents active. These include GO Active, Active Women, Youth Ambition, Sportivate, Social Rounders, Ping! Oxford, StreetSports, and Family FUNs.
Although Oxford residents on average have a similar life expectancy to the national average, there are geographical inequalities. Men from the least deprived areas of the city can expect to live 9.7 years longer than those in the most deprived areas.
Councillor Linda Smith, Executive Board Member for Leisure, Parks and Sport, said: “We are delighted that the Sport & Physical Activity team’s hard work has been recognised with the highest rating from Sport England’s Quest for Active Communities assessment.
“The team’s work is helping to tackle health inequalities in Oxford and, this year, will continue to improve and introduce more exciting opportunities to Oxford for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get and stay active.”