Coaching & PE

Lord Moynihan in school sport plea

There needs to be a “sea change” in Government policy to get more children from state schools involved in competitive sport, the chairman of the British Olympic Association says.

Lord Moynihan said it was a “tragic reflection” of sport in state schools that while 7% of children were educated privately, they represented 50% of all British medal winners at the Olympics.

He said sports minister Hugh Robertson was doing a “great job” but needed the support of his Cabinet colleagues to ensure competitive sport in state schools received the backing it needed.

Olympic sports needed to follow the example of football, he said, with more money finding its way to local clubs and governing bodies to develop children who showed a talent in their sport.

Lord Moynihan said: “What worries me most at the moment is the sports legacy. We are not seeing a sea-change in the provision for young people, able-bodied, disabled, Olympic and non-Olympic, across the whole of the country to get involved in sport.

“We are not seeing brand new measures that reach out to every school in this country for competitive school sport and a change in school sports policy. We are seeing declining participation for many of our great sports.

“We are seeing local authorities who are seeing cuts in sports provision because it is a discretionary spend item at a time when they are looking to save money, and when they have to recognise that the mandatory elements are the first area they have to protect.

“Across the board on sport legacy, we have a long way to travel.”

Lord Moynihan said he also wanted to ensure clean athletes did not lose out to drug cheats in competitions to represent Team GB next year, as he advocated banning those caught doping for longer than two years.

New doping technology created a challenge to the authorities to keep up and catch the cheats, he said.

Source: The Press Association

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