ukactive responds to imminent new £100m school sport policy

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ukactive, the not-for-profit body which exists to improve the health of the nation by getting more people, more active, more often has broadly welcomed the imminent announcement of a new school sports policy brokered by Lord Coe and the prime minister.

It is expected that tomorrow the government will make a major announcement on sport in schools, which could see £100m to £150m committed to school sport through an agreement between the Department of Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health.

It is expected that major sports NGBs and other providers will be called on to provide expertise and coaching provision to help ensure that all children retain access to specialists sports provision at least once a week.

David Stalker, CEO, ukactive (www.ukactive.com) commented:

“We welcome any new policy which helps to tackle the worrying levels of childhood inactivity and are particularly supportive of the need for an increased focus on basic physical literacy, which views sport in its widest sense. I agree wholeheartedly with Seb Coe’s previous comments on this matter that the debate between competitive and non-competitive sport is a “red herring”; it is crucial that any policy incorporates a consideration of the health benefits of physical activity and supports children of all levels of sporting ability to access a type of activity that they will enjoy and engage with.

Recognising that there are lots of activities outside the traditional spectrum of competitive sports, we hope that schools will be open to wider partnerships with activity providers, including those in ukactive’s membership, who are ready to help deliver on these objectives.  With a third of young people leaving primary school overweight or obese, the range of activities available to them needs to be as broad as possible.

“I am very encouraged by reports that this money is to be ring-fenced for the delivery of sport and physical activity and not absorbed by other priorities which may arise. Alongside this I hope that for the longer-term success of such a scheme, a consistent measurement tool for levels of activity and sport in schools be implemented and embraced by the government and OFSTED, and that this is used to help target socially deprived areas and to incentivise  improvements in participation, particularly amongst those who are currently inactive.

“These announcements are a positive step in the right direction, and we hope to see the cross-party support they need to be sustainable long-term; after all it was this consensus which was so crucial to the success of London 2012.”

Posted in: education, media response, school sport


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