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Sports (Young People)

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

14. What his most recent estimate is of the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who regularly participate in sport. (310900)

The latest figures from Sport England’s active people survey show that more than 31 per cent. of 16 to 24-year-olds regularly participate in sport—the definition used is three 30-minute moderate-intensity sessions per week. I am pleased to say that that continues the upward trend of sports participation among this age group since 2006, and reflects the good progress that we have made in growing grass-roots community sport over that time.

One way to encourage young people to continue in sport after they leave school is to showcase our best sport as widely as possible in the media. Therefore, does the Minister agree that it would be a major mistake if a decision were taken to remove the rugby league challenge cup competition from terrestrial television?

May I congratulate my hon. Friend on putting his question as he did? He will know that we are consulting on the listed system for broadcasting, but he makes a good point about rugby league. I know that that is his favourite sport; it sits alongside his beloved Liverpool football club. It is important that we ensure that people participate in sport and that we use role models in particular sports to encourage young people to take part.