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Change 4 Life’ sports clubs to get more young people playing sport as part of 2012 Olympic Legacy


Teenagers across the country are to get the chance to join one of 3,000 new after school clubs offering Olympic and Paralympic sports, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has announced.
Six million pounds of Government and Lottery money is being invested to create a network of new after school clubs in secondary schools and colleges across England.  The clubs will give young people of all abilities the opportunity to play a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports - badminton, boccia, fencing, handball, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball. The £6 million will pay for new equipment and qualified coaches to run the clubs alongside young volunteers.

The clubs are part of the Government’s drive to deliver a lasting sporting legacy ahead of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Schools will develop the clubs in partnership with sports’ national governing bodies, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust. 

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Ben Bradshaw said:

“These new clubs will be a fantastic opportunity for teenagers to get active and experience a number of our Olympic and Paralympic sports.  We hope this will be just the start and that schools across England build on this investment and deliver a network of clubs covering every Olympic sport, long after London’s closing ceremony.

“The 2012 games are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform sport in this country – both in terms of medals and in getting more people playing sport.  We have already achieved a great deal - since we won the bid in 2005 more than half a million people are doing more sport, we have revolutionised school sport, we have introduced great new initiatives like free swimming, and our athletes gave a fantastic performance in Beijing.  But we can do more – and these new clubs will help take us even further.”

The first clubs will open in the Autumn term this year, with all of them up and running by Spring 2011.  The clubs will be a key part of the Government’s ‘Change 4 Life’ campaign, encouraging young people to get more active.  

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

2012 offers us a golden opportunity to get more people than ever involved in physical activity and sport. It's great that the clubs will bring ‘Change4Life’ to teenagers and provide even more opportunities for them to be healthy and active.

"Research has shown us that by building up a sense of community spirit, everyone gets involved in activities simply because they want to feel part of the occasion.

"As we enter our decade of sport, I am delighted to support these new ‘Change4Life’ Sports Clubs which offer more than just traditional sports, to join our ever growing ‘Change4Life’ movement and get us all moving more and making healthier choices.“

Five-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave said:

“One of the most important outcomes from the UK hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 is that we become a more active nation. Of course that means ensuring those who are already participating in sport keep it up for life but we also need to reach out to those who think sport is not for them. These ‘Change 4 Life’ sports clubs can help us do that and ensure a passion for sport burns brightly inside thousands of young people.”

Using the inspiration of, and investment in the 2012 Games, the Government is creating a world leading sports system - with the structures and facilities to get more people of all ages playing more sport and getting more physically active, as well as greater medal success for British athletes. 

This announcement is only one part of this work, which includes:

  •  exchequer funding for sport doubling since London won the Games in 2005;
  •  more than £780 million is being invested in school sport in the three years to 2011 to get more young people into sport;
  • school sport overhaul in the past decade, taking the number of children doing two hours of sport a week from 25 to 90 per cent, with more than half now doing three hours and an ambition to offer all five  to 16 year olds five hours by 2013
  •  £480 million is going direct to sports’ governing bodies to support projects that get more people play sport
  •  the Government’s £140 million free swimming initiative has delivered 10 million free swims in the first six months alone
  • more than £300 million is being invested in the systems and facilities to help our athletes win medals at London 2012 and beyond.  This builds on the public investment that took us from 36th in Atlanta to 4th in Beijing
  •  the 2012 games will leave new world class facilities which will benefit local communities for decades to come; and
  •  a whole host of new schemes being delivered by our partner bodies – including Premier League 4 Sport, and Sport England’s Sport Unlimited and Playground to Podium.

Source: © Department for Culture, Media And Sport  

Written by Roger Tolman
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 11:11

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