§ Kate Hoey
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people participate in rural sport and recreation in England; and if she will make a statement on(a) the value of rural sport and recreation to rural tourism in England, (b) the value of rural sport and recreation to the rural economy in England and (c) the value of Sport England's grant aid to rural sport and recreation. 
§ Mr. Caborn
The General Household Survey for 1996 measured the percentage of the population which participated in sporting activity in a natural setting which is defined as in the countryside, on rivers or lakes or at the seaside. The survey showed that20 per cent. of men, 9 per cent. of women and 14 per cent. of all adults had participated in sport in one of these locations in the past four weeks.51 per cent. of young people (6–16) had participated in sport in one of these locations in the past year.6 per cent. of ethnic minority groups had participated in one of these locations in the previous four weeks.35 per cent. of young people with a disability had participated in one of these locations in the previous year.
No specific studies have been undertaken on the value of rural sport and recreation to rural tourism or the rural economy in England. However, I understand that the Countryside Agency is considering a proposal to undertake a study on the economic aspects of recreation in the countryside. Data from the Great Britain Day 826W Visit Survey 2002/03 indicates that of day trips made to the countryside 40.5 per cent. were for the purpose of physical activity, including walking and cycling.
Sport England has allocated the following funding to rural sports in 2002–03:
£ Lottery Exchequer Angling — 128,000 Caving — 5,000 Equestrian 359,182 46,000 Gliding 95,634 — Mountaineering 45,000 65,000 Orienteering — 90,000 Sailing and yachting 1,514,813 137,000 Surfing — 9,000 Water skiing — 38,000
§ Mr. Caborn
No such assessment has been made. The decision by Sport England to prioritise its funding of National Governing Bodies of Sport will not mean that other sports and physical activities will no longer receive funding. Sport England will continue to work with the governing bodies of these sports including those which involve rural sports. When funding decisions for community projects are devolved to the regions it will be open to the Regional Sports Boards to support rural sports where these meet the objectives of their regional sports strategies.