This organisation "decides how to invest government and National Lottery funding to help people across England create a sporting habit for life" (source: www.gov.uk) so you wouldn't necessarily put them together.
However, a cold call from TNS, conducting Sport England's Active People Survey (APS), indicated differently.
Sporting questions on the APS
Depending on your frame of mind, the APS is an absolute hoot. Not often does a stranger on the end of the phone have us gasping with mirth on the sofa, but after he'd patiently received fairly extensive information on the state of my elderly mother's arthritis, the caller began closely examining her on just how much in the way of cycling, water sports and tennis she'd enjoyed in the previous 4 weeks.
We fell around at the image of Aged P ski-ing down the road on floodwater and then he turned to the serious question of "How Much Gardening?"
"It's been too wet to garden," she pointed out helpfully. Nevertheless, he needed to know, "How many times have you been gardening in the last 4 weeks?"
My mother's idea of gardening currently is pulling a few weeds as she walks out of the front door. That wasn't an acceptable answer. "How many times have you been gardening?"
Four times, she decided, plucking a modest number from the air.
"And for how long each time?"
About 20 minutes, was her judicious choice.
All of which, of course, is complete rubbish, as anyone out for 20 minutes in the garden this February would have been soaked to the skin and up to their knees in mud.
All of which raises the question of just how successful these surveys can be. The originator of the APS isn't revealed at the start of the phone call because, as the question-master is trained to explain, this might influence the answers given. But you catch on. And, going by my mother's answers, influence it does.
In my less-than-enthusiastic interest in anything involving a ball, I missed the 2012 Legacy Action Plan for the Olympics that set a target of getting 2 million more adults active through sport and physical activity by 2012.
The APS continuously measures the number of people taking part in sport across England. It's the largest survey of sport and activity ever carried out in Europe (latest sample size 165,000 adults). Annual data has been gathered since 2007/8, with findings published every six months, and gardening was added to the questions in January 2009.
So, was an unrelated activity drafted in to help achieve targets? Or is gardening now a sport?
I phoned Sport England. The 2 million was, it seems, a government target to get more people physically active; Sport England's commitment was to get 1 million people involved in playing sport*. But targets were dropped in 2011 and the remit of Sport England now is to increase participation in sports and physical activities year on year. So I can't report that sports' figures are being massaged with extraneous activity.
In fact, the question was added at the behest of (and with payment from) the Department of Health (something I aim to follow up), so, sadly, nor can I report that competitive gardening will be added to the stranger parts of the Olympics.
In the meantime, I queried whether the results would be adjusted because of the weather. No, they won't. The rain's likely impact is taken into account when examining figures, but it's not used to weight them.
I presume the same will go for DoH's gardening figures - which, in the dearth of opportunity for getting outside, will show a small blip in our area, created by an elderly lady with apparently waterproof properties.
*As you read the various documents online, you can't help sensing that goalposts have shifted. A technical report from 2011 defines the target as based on adults, 16 and over, achieving 3 sessions of 30 minutes' or more moderate (or more) intensity physical activity per week. The survey now looks at the percentage of adults (aged 14 and over) who do moderate intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes at least 4 times in 4 weeks.
The reason for the change is, I was told, is because the original questions didn't allow for people who did different activities in the three sessions, so it looked as if fewer people were active than actually were.
And nothing to do with making increased figures more achievable.