School Sport - What is it for?
Posted: Sun, 22 Oct 2017 15:16
One piece of recent sports news that almost slipped past me was the government statistics showing a significant drop in competitive school sport, since the 2012 London Olympics.
The statistics reported in the Government's annual Taking Part Survey showed the numbers of pupils taking part in competitions against other schools dropped from 31% to 25%. Other indicators around school sports week, playing in a team and being a member of a sports club also showed declines.
Reviving competitive school sport was once front and centre in sports policy, for example when the School Games was part of the Conservative Manifesto for the 2010 election. I saw first hand through the London Youth Games, how a network of competition managers and school sport co-ordinators worked to increase the number and variety of opportunities for young people to play competitive sport. Even as funding cuts caused the SSP funding to be replaced by School Games Organisers with fewer resources, schools continued to get involved in the increasing variety of competitions in sports ranging from Mini Tennis to Handball.