Letter: Non-competitive sports encourage pupil participation

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The Independent Online
Sir: James Fenton (11 April) is right to raise serious doubts about the nation's ability to buy back school playing fields now covered by supermarkets and housing developments. In our experience, once a playing field is lost, it is lost for ever.

However, if the Government's intention is to use the National Lottery to buy playing fields under threat, it is essential that such land should be protected permanently through charitable status, so it is not then sold off for building in 10 years' time. In this way, the National Playing Fields Association safeguards many such sites throughout the United Kingdom.

But the possibility would then also exist that local education authorities owning playing fields - and all of them do - could purposely declare playing fields 'under threat' to get their noses into the National Lottery trough.

Yours faithfully,


Director, Fields and Policy


National Playing Fields



11 April