Memorandum submitted by the British Council
The British Council is Britain's principal agency
for international cultural relations. Our definition of culture
The British Council's recently announced new
strategy is designed to ensure maximum impact overseas and to
represent the full diversity of the United Kingdom. One of the
main elements of the strategy will be a focus on reaching wider
and younger audiences than we have hitherto targeted. Sport has
an important role to play in this work.
Sport supports our educational, cultural exchange
and promotional efforts on behalf of Britain. Typical British
Council sports projects have been:
Training young leaders through sport
in less developed countries.
A conference on the social dimensions
of sport, in collaboration with the Council of Europe.
A touring exhibition to promote British
expertise in the football industry, in particular football stadium
We are clear that we will not duplicate the
work of other UK agencies charged with promoting British sport
or bidding for major events, such as the UK Sports Council and
the British Olympic Association. We recognise that bids are complex
affairs, best handled by the relevant sports organisation themselves.
We hope to integrate the staging of some major
events in the UK into our activities. In particular, we are exploring
the possibility of Internet and face to face exchange around the
2002 Commonwealth Games and 2005 Athletics World Championships.
These ideas are at an early stage of development at the moment.
Where our cultural diplomacy aims and activities
coincide with those of a major bid, we will on occasion put on
joint activities that support our individual country plans. However,
we do not anticipate the Council playing a direct part in British
bids for major events.