Jeremy Hunt has announced that funding will be available for every secondary school in England to run a community sports club. The pledge is part of the 2012 games promise, seeing a £1billion strategy to encourage young people to lead more active lifestyles. Funding is to come largely from Lottery funding, with support from Sport England and the Treasury as set out in the current Spending Review.
As Hunt states, the funding is needed to offset decreasing sporting participation in the UK. ‘Despite huge investment of public funds since we won the right to host the Games,’ he says, ‘participation by young people in sport has been falling.’
Sport England will help establish 4,000 youth and community sport clubs. Expert coaches will run sessions, with the aim of setting up partnerships between schools and existing local sports clubs. Funding will be on the basis of ‘payments-by-results’ with funding withdrawn from those failing to meet agreed objectives.
In a year of sport and celebration, we welcome the encouragement of school, sport and community partnerships But will this provision merely lead to duplication and to double-funding? And where does all of this sit alongside the Schools Sports Partnership schemes that Michael Gove has sought to dismantle?
Let us know what you think.