£6m for after-school Olympic sport clubs

Teenagers will get the chance to try out Olympic and Paralympic sports through a £6 million network of after-school clubs, Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw announced today.

From this autumn term sports such as badminton, boccia, fencing, handball, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball will be on offer at the first of 3,000 clubs being set up in secondary schools and colleges across England.

All of the clubs, funded by Government and Lottery money, should be up and running by spring 2011 as part of the participation drive ahead of the London 2012 Games.

New equipment and qualified coaches to run the clubs alongside young volunteers are also to be paid for from the £6 million pot.

Mr 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."

Five-time Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave hopes it might trigger a passion for sport in thousands of youngsters.

He 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."

Setting up the clubs is intended to be a joint effort between the schools, the sports' national governing bodies, Sport England and the Youth Sport Trust.

The clubs are part of the Government's Change 4 Life campaign, encouraging young people to become more active.

The Government has pledged to give every young person the chance to do five hours of sport a week.

Olympics minister Tessa Jowell said: "When we won the (Olympic) bid in Singapore we promised to change the lives of young people through sport. These new clubs are just one way in which we are making that promise a reality.

"The sharpest drop in sports participation tends to come when people leave school, so by targeting these clubs at 13 to 19-year-olds we can help bridge that gap."

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said: "Getting involved in sport when the school day is over is an important step towards continuing participation into adulthood.

"These clubs will give thousands of teenagers the chance to take up sports they may never have played before, helping more young people to discover that sport really offers something for everyone."

Health Secretary Andy Burnham added that the 2012 Games is a golden opportunity to get more people physically active.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Imperial College London: Safety Training Administrator

£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...

University College London: Client Platform Support Officer

£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...

Guru Careers: Instructional Designer / e-Learning Designer

£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...

Recruitment Genius: Schools Education & Careers Executive

£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor