A new Olympic-style competition will “spark a revolution in school sports” according to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt after he launched the pilot initiative which is being rolled out in nine communities around the country ahead of London 2012.
Schools will compete against each other in leagues at a local level from 2011, with winning athletes and teams qualifying for area finals.
They will also be encouraged to host in-house Olympic-style sports days for children of all abilities and there will be a Paralympic element at every level of the competition for young people with disabilities.
Announcing the scheme, Hunt said: “Win or lose, competitive sport teaches children important life lessons in commitment, discipline and teamwork.
“Our new Olympic-style school sports competition will spark a revolution in school sport, and leave a lasting legacy from London’s Games.”
“Schools in the pilot areas I have announced today will help us develop a nationwide competition.”
“We want to involve as many schools and young people as possible, so that children of all abilities and ages are able to take part and strive to be the best that they can be.”
Schools in the Black Country, London, Cornwall, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear will pilot the competition from early next year.
The scheme will culminate in a national competition in 2012 in the Olympic Park, with formal Opening and Closing Ceremonies and medals.
The competition is a key part of the Government’s plans for a lasting sporting legacy from hosting the London 2012 Games and to maximise the sporting opportunities available to all.