Adventure is on the agenda

Ian Lewis stated, “The Campaign hopes the All Party Parliamentary Group, 'A RISc', will also investigate positive aspects of healthy risk-taking, hopefully leading to a reduction in vandalism, self-mutilation, obesity, substance abuse, suicide and violence – all (mis-)adventures practised by far too many young people.  There is ample evidence that this is because developing young people do not experience sufficient sensible adventure when their bodies, minds and emotions are demanding it.  It will cost society less and offers great benefit in the long run.”

Ian F. Lewis, Chair of Campaign for Adventure, a primary sponsor to the All Party Parliamentary Group, said: “ We strongly support the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Adventure. The UK’s increasing tendency to protect people from danger, avoiding even healthy risks, is being carried too far. It is stifling creativity and enterprise. This is leading to an increasingly restrictive, even pessimistic, approach to life, particularly in education and recreation where the emphasis on risk-avoidance is often out of all proportion to the possible benefits. Unfortunately, this tendency is compounded by a culture which attempts to avoid personal responsibility, blame those who are trying to help, and seeking compensation for even genuine accidents. The result is that courage is sacrificed to caution, with many teachers, youth workers and community volunteers being reluctant, fearful or even advised by unions not to engage in any projects involving risk, adventure or uncertainty.

Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, attending the launch event said: "Outdoor Education is unique in the range and scope of opportunities it provides and is a great source of adventure; people of all ages would benefit from more adventure and more challenge to enhance their lives. Such challenges do not come without some degree of risk, but this is what actually makes life fun, exciting and ultimately rewarding rather than bland and mundane".

Politicians from all sides of both Houses have expressed an interest in joining the group, which is to bejointly chaired by Julian Brazier, Derek Wyatt and Lembit Opik. Julian Brazier MP said: “The letters and messages we have received from adventure training and sporting organisations all over the country make it clear that this issue will not go away. The perception of  a compensation culture is threatening the opportunities for young people to experience healthy risk-taking and excitement in a responsible environment".