Premiership Rugby today welcomed Culture Secretary Sajid Javid’s call for a wider debate about the role of sport as a tool for dealing with deprivation and disadvantage.
"The Secretary of State is right to open up a new debate about the role of sport in society. We need to create a new framework for how sport can be used as a tool for social policy and to address social problems like crime, drugs and deprivation. We need a new consensus, which is not just about participation," said Wayne Morris, Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Premiership Rugby.
"Our social programmes are no longer just about getting people active. We have a wealth of sports based programmes like HITZ, which are focused on helping NEETs in challenging areas to get qualifications and build their employability skills.
"With the Rugby World Cup happening in England this autumn, we’re keen to work with all parties and the new Government to move the debate forward to use the sport to help change lives for the better."
One aspect Premiership Rugby would like reviewed is the use of professional sports alongside national governing bodies.
"I also think we need to rethink the role of professional sports in helping achieve social outcomes," added Morris. "We have brands, infrastructure and skills which could be utilised more in terms of social marketing programmes and social investment in this area."
Premiership Rugby also welcomed the publication of the Centre for Social Justice’s ‘Sport for Social Good’ paper.