12 September 2014

I often talk about the importance of competitive sports for young people so it was great to hear that the government’s provision of extra PE funding has had a positive effect since it was introduced this time last year. Having said that, it seems completely baffling that it took a public outcry over other cuts to school sports funding for them to actually realise its importance.

school_peDuring the London Olympics, I believe that something changed. It was almost as if there was something in the air – a sense of excitement, of renewed energy and determination for the future. Even after the Olympics finished, kids went back to school inspired by a whole new breed of heroes. Thousands of engaged young people ready to learn new skills and participate in team sports. How could we not invest in this? Is there any more proof needed that PE is paramount to our children’s development?

Well, if we did need additional proof then the results following the new PE funding – the PE and Sport Premium – should do the trick. With a rise in after school sports clubs and over 90% of primary schools saying that they’d seen pupils becoming fitter and noticed a marked improvement in their behaviour, the benefits of sport to our children’s futures are obvious.

Whether it’s a lifelong ambition to excel in a specific discipline or simply a better understanding of teamwork, I think every child will get something from involvement in competitive sports. Personally, I think it’s one of the most important elements of education and I hope the government’s recent investment will be the start of a rise to lasting success, not just a one hit wonder.

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