Thus, Sports England, Sports Scotland, the Sports Council for Wales, and Sports Northern Ireland have separate roles within their individual countries; making it difficult to refer to a sports policy for the entire United Kingdom. Further, despite important commonalities in policy in the four countries, the differences have increased since devolution making it necessary for each country to be considered as a separate policy domain. Hence, the features specific to England would not reflect sports policy in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (Houlihan & Green 2011). Contemporary sports development began in the 1960s when Conservative and Labour governments started taking an interest in the running of sports, as an aspect of the maturing welfare state. The development of sports evolved through the history of the Sports Council and its successor organizations, and was supported by a “funding and policy network involving central government, local government, quangos, sports governing bodies and clubs” (Houlihan & Green 2011, p. The political and ideological characteristics of sports development in contemporary British sports are evident in the government’s purposes and objectives in developing the sports system.
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