School Games receives huge boost with additional investment over the next four years
The Olympic and Paralympic sporting legacy was given a huge boost today when Sainsbury's pledged a £10 million package to support the new School Games Competition over the next four years.
A further £14 million from the Department of Health plus a further £8 million from Sport England will extend funding for School Games organisers from two years to four years, up to 2015. And sponsorship from adidas means that the 1,600 young athletes will be provided with sports kit.
The unprecedented funding package, which will ensure that the School Games have a lasting legacy beyond 2012, was announced today by Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt and Sainsbury's Chief Executive Justin King.
Mr Hunt said: "We are absolutely determined to leave a real and lasting legacy for young people from London's Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Sainsbury's School Games will help do just that.
The fantastic funding package announced today - from Sainsbury's, Adidas and the Department of Health - shows the commitment to completely transform competitive sport in schools. I want to thank Sainsbury's and adidas for their huge generosity in helping to secure the future of the School Games beyond 2012."
Sainsbury's was previously headline sponsor of the UK School Games and this new sponsorship sees the supermarket build on its involvement in school sport. The deal includes support for a new School Games teacher training programme, which helps to ensure more disabled children in mainstream schools experience structured activity and sport so creating a lasting legacy for disabled children following the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Through its Active Kids programme, London 2012 Paralympic Games sponsorship and this new initiative, Sainsbury's aims to make sport accessible to children of all ages and abilities.
The additional investment from Sport England comes on top of the £35.5 million of National Lottery funding already being invested in the School Games, including £4 million for the 2012 Schools Games finals at the Olympic Park in May.
Richard Lewis, Sport England Chair, said: "The School Games is bringing the magic of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games to tens of thousands of young people and will inspire them to make sport part of their lives. Sainsbury's is leading the way in showing how the private sector can help us achieve our mission to get more young people enjoying sport."
Justin King, Sainbury's Chief Executive, said: "We are thrilled to announce our support for the School Games over the next four years. It will complement our Paralympic Games sponsorship perfectly and will add extra weight to our hugely successful Active Kids Scheme which is now in its 8th year.
"We have promoted a healthier and more active lifestyle for all for many years now and this new sponsorship will see us continue to build on that in 2012 and beyond."