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Sports: Schools

Volume 498: debated on Thursday 29 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps his Department is taking to encourage school students to participate in competitive sport. (296819)

Competition is an integral part of the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People and the Government's commitment to offer every child aged five to 16 the chance to do five hours of PE and sport per week, with three hours for 16 to 19-year-olds.

Between 2008-11, Government are investing approximately £25.5 million into a new network of 225 Competition Managers (CMs), all of which have been recruited. The new network of CMs will provide better opportunities for young people to take part in competitive sport; and ensure that school-based opportunities are more integrated with national governing bodies' competition pathway priorities and club competitions. Their objective is to increase the number of young people engaged in regular high quality inter-school competitive events.

Government are also investing approximately £3 million between 2008-11 into an intra-school competition programme called ‘yoURsport’. This is being implemented by the 450 school sport partnerships and is targeted at less sporty pupils to encourage them to participate in competitive sporting activity. The programme's objectives are to increase participation in intra-school competition for all young people aged 11 to 16, by providing a competitive experience which is appealing and accessible. The programme also provides opportunities for young leaders to deploy their leadership skills in organising, staging and officiating in intra-school competition for their peers.