Jeremy Hunt sets out plans for School Games
Government and Lottery funding will give thousands of young people the opportunity to take part in competitive sport through the School Games.
In a speech to the 2011 Sports Colleges Conference in Telford earlier today, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport set out his vision for the new School Games tournament, and called on Head Teachers to get behind the competition.
Speaking at the Youth Sport Trust conference, Mr Hunt also paid tribute to teachers and coaches all over the country for their "extraordinary commitment and dedication over the years towards getting more children and young people to play competitive sport".
"I want to harness the energy, enthusiasm and commitment you have shown over many years to help move school sport to the next level in this critical year of opportunity", said Mr Hunt.
During the speech the Secretary of State also talked about the partnership between DCMS, Department of Health, Department for Education and Sport England, who are all contributing to make the School Games a success, and pay for hundreds of new School Games Organisers.
"Sport is a vital part of a healthy childhood, said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. "It helps in the drive against child obesity and competitive school sport offers a wide range of benefits like better self esteem, confidence and social skills. That is why we have got behind the School Games by providing up to £20 million of funding over the next two years. It will help foster strong links between schools and encourage greater uptake."
A legacy for 2012
The School Games tournament - inspired by the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics - will give every child the opportunity take part and compete.
As part of the offer:
- 500 schools across nine regions will pilot an annual School Games Day: a 'finals' day stemming from a programme of intra-school competition which will offer disabled children as many opportunities as non-disabled children
- a rolling programme of leagues and tournaments will promote more competition between schools at a town or district level
- up to 60 new, county or city-level 'Festivals of Sport' will showcase the best of local competitive sport in the inter-school finals
- the most talented young sports people will have the chance to represent their schools in a high-profile, national event
- In the spring Government will publish a prospectus for schools - setting out exactly how teachers and coaches can get involved in the School Games, including registering online.