YOUNG VOICES

London 2012: Jeremy Hunt Unveils Plan For Schools To Host Community Sports Clubs

10/01/2012 06:07 | Updated 11 January 2012

Every English secondary school will host a community sports club under a £1 billion plan to get the nation active for life unveiled by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt today.

Expert coaches will be brought in to run sessions and each of the 4,000 projects will have links to at least one national sporting governing body.

The clubs will be set up under a five-year youth and community sport strategy, which will deliver on Lord Coe's 2012 Games bid promise to inspire a generation to get involved in sport, according to the government.

Most of the cash will come from Lottery funding with £200 million of government money earmarked for the plans up to 2015.

Hunt said: "Despite huge investment of public funds since we won the right to host the Games, participation by young people in sport has been falling.

"We need a radical change in policy to address the deep-seated problem of people dropping out of sport when they leave school.

"Our bold approach will see money going to organisations that deliver on youth participation, but also withdrawn quickly from those which fail to meet agreed objectives."

Around £450 million of the cash is going directly to sports governing bodies between 2013 and 2017 for their "whole sport plans", the government said.

Of that, 60% will be targeted at getting 14 to 25-year-olds into a sporting habit for life while the remaining 40% will be aimed at the rest of the population.

The governing bodies will have to prove they are getting results or will jeopardise their public funding, officials said.

Around £100 million will be used to set up the school clubs and tackle the drop-off in sporting activity when youngsters leave school, including boosting provision at further education colleges and universities.

Schools will also have access to £10 million to allow them to open up their sports facilities for public use.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: "Changing the sporting behaviour of a generation is a major challenge, which has not been achieved by any other Olympic host nation. With a new focus on young people and an even tougher, Government-backed regime of payment by results, Sport England and its partners are determined to deliver."

Football has pledged that 2,000 clubs will be linked to secondary schools by 2017, rugby union 1,300 clubs, cricket 1,250 clubs and rugby league and tennis 1,000 clubs each.

Alex Horne, general secretary of the Football Association, said: "A priority will be taking 2,000 local football clubs into secondary schools across the country, offering expert coaching and creating the strong ties that will help young people make the move from school sport to community sport."

Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling, said: "Looking ahead to the next funding cycle, we have ambitious plans to build further on the success we've achieved over the past few years, and to capitalise on the inspirational impact of London 2012 to increase participation."

David Collier, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: "This very much mirrors cricket's own strategy to get more young people playing at school and in clubs and keep them involved in the game throughout their lives."

Paul Clark, chief executive of England Netball, said: "This age group is critical to our ambition of encouraging and enabling engagement in netball for life."

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