Compulsory team sports for schools
COMPETITIVE team games are to be compulsory for primary age children in England, the Prime Minister announced yesterday in an attempt to safeguard the legacy of London 2012.
A revised national curriculum to be published this autumn will require youngsters to participate in activities such as football, hockey, and netball along with other “recognisable sports”.
After coming under fire for scrapping a target for pupils to do two hours of sport per week, David Cameron said the new requirement would end the “all must have prizes” culture and encourage children to “pursue their dreams”.
The issue of school sport provision has been thrust into the spotlight by Team GB’s success over the past fortnight.
Yesterday, Cameron complained many schools were replacing sport “by doing things like Indian dance or whatever, that you and I probably wouldn’t think of as sport.”
He added: “We need to use the inspiration of the London Games to get children playing sport more regularly.
“I want to use the example of competitive sport at the Olympics to lead a revival of competitive sport in primary schools.
“We need to end the ‘all must have prizes’ culture and get children playing and enjoying competitive sports from a young age, linking them up with sports clubs so they can pursue their dreams.”
Cameron was supported by former athlete Alan Pascoe, who won a silver medal at the 1972 Olympics and was vice-chair of the successful 2012 bid, who said: “We must not lose this fantastic opportunity to live up to our promise to create a legacy of inspiration and that has got to start at primary school if we are to continue and improve our level of competing at the highest level.”
However, critics warned that the plan was ill-conceived. Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: “If David Cameron supports primary school sport, why did he abolish Schools Sports Partnerships, which allowed primary schools access to coaches, staff and facilities to do competitive sport?”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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