London Sport welcomes new government funding to help schools open up sports facilities all year round
London Sport will receive part of a £1.6m government fund to assist schools open up their sports facilities all year round to boost physical activity levels in the capital.
The Department for Education hopes thousands of children will benefit from additional physical activity opportunities after school and in the school holidays with the funding boost.
London Sport is one of 19 areas across the UK to receive the new funding and will be supporting schools to broaden access to their facilities and helping to facilitate a strong and varied activity offer.
In London, less than half (46.1%) of children and young people in years 1 to 11 at school are active – completing the recommended 60 minutes or more activity every day of the week.
Sport England figures also show that nearly a third (28.8%) of the capital’s children and young people are completing less than 30 minutes of active a day and are therefore considered less active.
The new investment builds on plans set out in the Sport and Activity Action Plan to provide safe and familiar environments for children to take part in activities that encourage good physical health.
London Sport’s Specialist Advisor for Children and Young People, Gary Palmer, said:
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help London’s children and young people to be more active and welcome this additional funding to aid us in those efforts.
“We look forward to working with schools from across London to open up their facilities and assisting them to ensure that there’s a strong and varied activity offer available when they do.
“Simply opening facilities will not have the desired effect if the offer does not appeal to young people and this is something that will vary between different London boroughs and schools.”
Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Director of Children and Young People, said:
“A significant amount of community sports facilities are found in schools. This new funding will help support schools to open up their facilities beyond the school day so they can be used for as long as possible by young people and the wider community and link schools up with great local activities.
“The 19 Active Partnerships around the country will working with local schools to make it easier, overcome some of the obstacles and share best practice – in what will be a win-win for pupils, community members and local sports clubs.”
Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said:
“Getting children active from a young age helps them build confidence and learn skills they will use in later life. Many schools already open up their facilities so their communities can benefit and I want to encourage even more to do so.
“By backing schools with this extra money we can make more fun activities available all year round - everything from football to dodgeball – to help children find a sport that they will enjoy and which will keep them healthy.”
To find out more about London Sport's work with schools and children and young people, click here.