School competitive team sports move unveiled

Competitive team sports will be made compulsory for all primary school children in England, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

A draft new curriculum this autumn would require participation in sports such as football, hockey and netball.

Mr Cameron has been urged to set out how he intends to secure a sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympics.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has called on political parties to work together on a 10-year plan to boost sports activity.

‘Recognisable sports’

The prime minister has pointed to a £1bn fund for youth sport, but the government has been criticised for scrapping a target of two hours physical education a week for school children.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for two hours a day of compulsory sport.

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“Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly”

David Cameron Prime Minister

Mr Cameron said earlier this week schools often saw the two-hour target as a maximum and told the BBC that Indian dance was being counted as physical education.

On Saturday he said the national curriculum for primary schools in England would be rewritten with an explicit reference to competitive team sports.

The new curriculum will make it compulsory to take part in “recognised and recognisable sports” and will set out requirements for “team outdoor and adventurous activity”.

Mr Cameron said: “The idea of an Olympics legacy has been built into the DNA of London 2012 from the very beginning.

“Now the London Olympics has been a great success, we need to use the inspiration of the Games to get children playing sport more regularly.”

‘Pursue dreams’

He added: “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.

“That’s why the new national curriculum in the autumn will include a requirement for primary schools to provide competitive sport.”

But Philip Collins, a former speech writer for Tony Blair, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr Cameron’s analysis was “about 20 years out of date” and the plans were “effectively reinstating” the Schools Sports Partnership programme – set up by Labour, and cut by the Tories in 2010.

He went on to say playing competitive sport for a school was “intrinsically exclusive” and it was “perfectly sensible to have lots of other physical activities for children who loathed PE”.

Damian Hinds, Conservative MP for East Hampshire, said competitive sport taught children “the power of a team, pushing yourself, and learning that life involves losing some things as well as winning”.

Under the last government, only two in five children took part in competitive sports within schools, with one in five regularly taking part in competitive sport with other schools, he added.

The National Association of Head Teachers has called for further investment in a wide range of school sports.

But it said the government should not seek to dictate the specific games that are played.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the head teachers’ union, said: “London 2012 has drawn the nation’s attention to the sheer breadth of sports on offer and an enduring legacy would be to see the government promote these, thereby ensuring children enjoy participating at every level. The message is diversity.”

 

Source – BBC News

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University of Derby plans £9m sports facilities upgrade

Source – BBC News

The University of Derby is planning a £9m expansion of its sports facilities including a new sports hall. The complex would be located on the university’s Kedlestone campus and, if approved, would be finished in 2013.

Director of Derbyshire Sport David Joy said the university needed new facilities to compete with nearby sport centres like Loughborough. The facilities, including a two-storey pavilion, would be open to both students and the local community.

‘Outward looking’

A university spokesman said it was aiming to be in the top 50 universities for sport in the UK by 2017. “We are very much in the early stages of this project – considering the best ways in which to take our commitment to sport forward,” estates director Ian Willgoose said.

Mr Joy said: “The facilities at the university are really quite old now compared to lots of other universities in the region and further afield – they are really past their sell-by date.

“The university is very outward looking and clubs from outside the university already use the sports facilities at the Kedlestone campus and this is a logical extension of that.” Derby City Council has recently announced plans for a £20m sports and concert venue at Pride Park, including a velodrome, which is expected to open in 2014.

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