Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lord Coe promised London Olympics would connect young people with the power of the inspiration of the Games, but now there are real fears that goal was not reached

About two and a half months before the cream of the parade of athletes in the world around the track during the opening ceremony of the Games in London, a much quieter event will mark a new stage in the battle to ensure the Olympic legacy - or at least the perception of a

school games, the creation of the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is - depending on who you ask and political ideology - whether it is a bold attempt to revitalize school sport competitive with London 2012 as a catalyst or a desperate attempt to divert attention from deep spending cuts that could put any hope of a meaningful legacy at risk.

The final will take place in the Olympic Park May 6-9, are the culmination of four levels of competition within and between school insists that Hunt will help you to respect the legacy of promises made by Lord Coe in Singapore.

Then, Coe promised: "We can not assume that young people choose sport Some may not have the facilities or trainers and models to teach others, within 24 hours. .. entertainment and even now, are simply unwilling. We determined the London Games face this problem. So London's vision is to reach young people around the world. To connect to the power of inspiration Games. So I was inspired to choose sport. "

As guardian education editor Jeevan Vasagar written today, there are now very real fears that the Coe electrifying words will mean a significant change little. The fund is complex and controversial, marked by political and ideological lines and turf wars.

In 2010, the Education Secretary Michael Gove, has decided to withdraw funding of £ 162m for a bounded network of sports clubs at school has increased the number of schools participating in two or more hours sport per week from 25% in 2002 to over 90% by 2010.

After a lively debate in the House of Commons (where the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has suggested that the cuts were Gove revenge for years of misery on the playground) and a rearguard action infuriated teachers, students and athletes, some of the money was repaid. But it was more a change of direction and a rotation of 90 degrees.

Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth and Sports Foundation formidable, and its new chief executive, John Steele, is to put a brave face on the new strategy. Campbell says he can be the beginning of a revival of school sport competitive.

But then a total of £ 153m will go to school games during the next four years, gathered from a variety of sources, including 10 million pounds and sponsorship of Sainsbury - are not what has been lost.

Meanwhile, backstage, there was also a battle for control of school games themselves. Lord Moynihan, the chairman of the British Olympic Association, believes his mandate after the Games would be useful to extend the implementation of the Olympic Games of the school. However, Hunt said Monday that the Board of Auditors would have total control, which was not on the table. Thus, the name was changed to the school games, and outside the Council of the auditors.

Hunt also praised the fact that half of all schools have registered. Similarly, meaning that half the schools did not -. In London, the total is only 42%

The risk is that we end up with a patchwork of arrangements between schools that make up the total value of sport and those who do not - exactly what the original strategy was introduced to fight against. No doubt in private schools that drain heavily in first-class sports facilities, and therefore beat well above its weight in the last Games, providing half of all the medalists from Britain .

Hunt, deserves praise for all they can with limited resources to try to minimize the effect of the cuts imposed by Gove and loyally defends the actions of his colleague.

But it is difficult to see how to lay off 450 people, then rehire most of them in less than an hour to work re-badged and also cut power to the elementary school that would instill the same "sport for life" attitude that the promises of rhetoric Hunt can be seen as a step forward.

For all the money invested in school sport by the last Labour government, when times were good, certainly not enough to wire the investment in sport and exercise in the ministries of Whitehall large, as health, education and the Ministry of Interior.

now the money has provided an escape immediately. It does not seem very clear about how progress will be measured - Hunt speaks vaguely of inculcating the habit of "sport for life" and measure progress in the 16, 18 and 21. That means it will take years before we know whether the strategy works.
There are other pressing concerns. Cuts in the budgets of local governments will inevitably have an impact on facilities, and the effects are only beginning to be felt. Meanwhile, planning laws are being modified in a way that has raised fears about the impact on the playgrounds.

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