London 2012 was a historic year with Team GB getting on the podium more times than ever before. It was a fantastic summer of sport that ignited a passion for sport in many Britons. It was one of Great Britain’s best ever Olympic Games performances; with Team GB winning more medals than ever before.
Two years on from London and with the next instalment of exhilarating Olympic Sport already underway in the Sochi Winter Olympic Games, the records just keep on breaking! Only two days into the Winter Olympic Games saw Snowboarder Jenny Jones win Great Britain’s first ever Olympic medal on the snow with a dramatic slopestyle bronze in Sochi.
With history already being made, Sochi will be another sporting landmark in Team GB’s history! But how do we keep this sporting momentum going? How can we continue to inspire a generation long after London 2012 and Sochi 2014?
Primary Schools in England are going to share an extra £150m per year sports funding until 2020, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced. The direct funding scheme for school sport, announced last year, is going to be extended for a further five years. This will continue to support Primary Schools with funding for training and sports equipment. This funding may not be felt on the podiums of Rio 2016 or Pyeongchang 2018, but it may be felt in the not too distant future.
This is fantastic news for Primary Schools who will now be able to create a longer term strategic vision for physical education with the financial support to make sustained improvements up until 2020 and beyond. The new fund is worth £150 million per annum for the next two years. Funded by the Department for Education (£80 million), the Department of Health (£60 million) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (£10 million), it will see funds go directly into the hands of primary school head teachers for them to spend on physical education and school sport. The Sport Premium will be ring fenced and can only be spent on physical education and sports provision in schools.
Funding for schools will be different for each school and is calculated by the number of primary-aged pupils (ie children between the ages of 5 and 11). All schools with 17 or more primary-aged pupils will receive a lump sum of £8,000 plus a premium of £5 per pupil. Smaller schools will receive the sum of £500 per pupil. For example, a school with 16 eligible pupils would receive £8,000; a school with 12 such pupils would receive £6,000 and a school with 5 such pupils. It is important to note this does not include pupils under 5 years old, therefore if you have reception or pre-school units they will not count if the pupils are aged under five years old.
The funding is meant to improve physical education lessons, such as paying for specialist coaching, equipment or to get help with running after-school clubs. It was announced last year as a two-year initiative to run until 2015-16, but Mr Cameron has said he wants to keep this funding for another five years and beyond the general election.
“Sport is so important because it encourages children to be active, lead a healthy lifestyle, make friends and, of course, have fun,” Mr Cameron said.
“But quality school sport has benefits that spread right across the curriculum and beyond – it develops confidence and a sense of achievement, it teaches young people how to rise to a challenge, and nurtures the character and skills that will help them get on and succeed in life.”
This is definitely a step in the right direction. This financial support will aid primary schools in creating a high quality physical education experience for all within the curriculum. This will not only help to create the Mo Farrah, Ellie Simmons, Jenny Jones, Lizzy Yarnold and Craig Pickering of the future, but create a future sporting nation that is more physically literate, healthy and active.