Sports bodies must help children play more sport

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has called on leading sporting bodies to work with schools and help more children play competitive sport.

Hinds and the Sports Minister Mims Davies asked the country’s biggest sporting institutions, including the Premier League, the Rugby Football Union and England Hockey, to advise the government on how to help children to harness the benefits of sport, ahead of the School Sport Action Plan next year.

The Education Secretary set out his ambition for every child to have the opportunity to take part in competitive sport, reiterating how the government’s School Sport Action Plan will ensure that all children have access to quality, protected PE and sport sessions during the school week and opportunities to be physically active throughout the school day.

Hinds said: “Education is not just about the taking and passing of exams, important though these are. We want all young people to leave formal education as happy, confident and well-rounded individuals. It is clear that exercise and organised sport in particular can play a huge part in children’s personal resilience and emotional wellbeing.

“Sporting bodies are offering a huge number of programmes and we want to work together to improve the co-ordination of these so they are easier for schools and teachers to use. If opportunities are limited, there is a risk that children will give up – literally at the first hurdle – if they don’t find a sport they enjoy; or else they’ll think it’s just not for them. A clear message I have taken is the role the education system can play in giving guidance to schools on what good school sport looks like, therefore enabling sports clubs and foundations to flourish.”