School sport and school facilities
In a nation where obesity in children is becoming prolific, it is important that a greater emphasis is placed on healthy lifestyles for young people. The ideal place to do this is at school.
The Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation is that children take part in one hour of activity every day. This can be provided at schools if it is prioritised but rarely is. Two hours per week is considered a good offer.
Schools also provide an untapped resource in terms of facilities. Sports clubs could utilise school facilities for community use, but this doesn’t happen often enough.
As in many sectors, school sport has suffered large cuts as a result of the current economic climate. The Youth Sport Trust, which had been tasked under the Labour administration to bring, first, two hours of school sport into the curriculum and then four hours in total (two inside and two outside the curriculum) bore the brunt of these cuts. The focus has now moved to competitive sport and the UK School Games.
The Alliance’s 2009 Facilities Inquiry provides practical examples of how school facilities should be opened up after hours.
The Alliance believes that sport should be an integral part of school life, and that access to school facilities should be an integral part of life at a sports club.
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