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UK School Games

Volume 460: debated on Monday 21 May 2007

In 2006, the UK School Games in Glasgow involved more than 1,000 young athletes, and saw 98 personal bests and four new records.

This year’s event in Coventry has eight sports for 1,300 competitors—300 more than last year. They are young, talented athletes. Seventy volunteers will also be drawn from throughout the country. I am delighted that, this year, table tennis for disabled athletes will be one of the competitions.

I thank my right hon. Friend for her reply. I am pleased that the UK School Games move around the UK and open up opportunities. What possibility do this year’s and future UK School Games offer of promoting the opportunity for athletes to partake in the 2012 UK Olympics?

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. Obviously, young people who take part in the UK School Games compete at higher levels than they have ever done before. At every stage of a young person’s participation in sport, there is more opportunity for competition. It is fair to say that every UK School Games between now and 2012 will be a training ground for our young athletes, many of whom benefit from the talented athlete scholarship scheme—TASS—or other schemes for promoting young talent. We hope that all those young athletes will win medals and be on the podium in 2012.