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Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance is given to communities to encourage children to take up running competitively. [111921]

One of this Departments key objectives is to increase participation in all sports, including running, and through Sport England and UK Sport, the national governing bodies of sport are funded directly to help achieve this objective. UK Athletics in conjunction with its home country partners has developed a number of grass roots initiatives that support and encourage individuals to become involved in athletics. The schemes take place within schools, communities, and athletics club environments. Such schemes include the Norwich Union star:track, sports:hall, and shine:awards, which are designed for young people aged three upwards. UK Athletics also supports athletics clubs through its clubs:future programme.

In addition Lottery funding worth over £1.39 billion has been provided since 1995 for community sports projects across England, many of which have facilities for athletics.