Olympics: Cameron urges school sport 'cultural change'

 
David Cameron and Amir Khan David Cameron and Amir Khan watch boxer Nicola Adams winning her fight

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There needs to be "a big cultural change" towards sport in schools if Britain is to capitalise on Team GB's Olympic wins, David Cameron has said.

The PM called for a more "competitive ethos". Teachers said he was "shifting blame" for problems caused by cuts.

Later the BOA said 800 Olympic and Paralympic athletes would take part in a parade in London on 10 September.

Team GB have 22 gold medals, their best haul since 1908, but medal hopes in the individual showjumping were dashed.

All Team GB's Olympic and Paralympic athletes are due to parade from the City's Mansion House to the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace the day after the Paralympics ends.

BOA chief executive Andy Hunt, asked why it was taking place on a school day, said: "We are trying to find a day that would work for everybody, to bring together what might be over 850 athletes, and then all of the other support staff, and make that happen across the both the Paralympic and Olympic teams was pretty challenging."

Sitting beside former Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan, Mr Cameron watched as Britain's Nicola Adams made her way into the flyweight final of the women's boxing.

GB's Adams into gold-medal bout

Adams, from Leeds, beat India's Mary Kom and is on course for at least a silver medal.

But she said afterwards: "I want that gold. Words can't express how much I want it. To get that for Great Britain, that would just mean the world to me."

It is the first time women's boxing has been included in the Olympics.

In other developments:

Speaking to LBC Radio after criticism of the government for approving the sale of 21 school playing fields, Mr Cameron said £1bn was being invested in school sports over the next four years.

But he added that more needed to be done to build a sporting legacy for British children.

"We need a big cultural change - a cultural change in favour of competitive sports," he said.

"The problem has been too many schools not wanting to have competitive sport, some teachers not wanting to join in and play their part."

But the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Christine Blower, said suggestions that teachers were letting the side down was "ludicrous".

"What we need is the support of government, not the shifting of blame," she said. "It's not because of teachers that funding for the School Sport Partnership has been so drastically reduced. Nor is it down to teachers that playing fields are being sold off, despite election promises."

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg has also criticised the government's decision to end the target of pupils doing two hours of sport a week, saying support structures needed to be place "at the grassroots" to "inspire the next generation".

Olympics coverage online

Olympics images

Labour leader Ed Miliband said Britain needed to keep hold of "Olympic spirit" and the government had to do "a lot of thinking" about how it could make good on the promise the Olympics had given young people.

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has said he is "pretty confident" sports funding can be maintained at the current level. He said elite sport was his priority, but that could not be guaranteed and "hard decisions" must be taken.

BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said: "Nobody is suggesting for a moment that every child wants to play competitive sport, that would be inaccurate. But there are hundreds of thousands of children who would love to take the inspiration they've got from either watching these Games or learning about them, they'd just love to translate that into the opportunity."

In showjumping on Wednesday, British trio Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Nick Skelton - fresh from their team title - missed out on the individual gold medal, which was won by Switzerland's Steve Guerdat.

Meanwhile London 2012 officials are refusing to confirm announcements from Muse and George Michael that they will take part in Sunday's closing ceremony.

 

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1188.

    If the government want disabled people working then they need to sort the NHS out and make sure they are fit and able to work by giving them the health care they need to get better. 32 people died while waiting for appeal decisions on disability benefits where were the nhs?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1187.

    A simple way to improve the health of the Nation and improve sports achievement is to a) fund projects for children, either in or out of school (don't rely on teachers to give up their own time) and b) ban the use of trans fats in foods, thereby reducing childhood obesity and later health problems

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 1186.

    Want to encourage more parents to get their kids into sport.... Stop charging VAT. How the government can justify taxing children's sports I do not know! I don't think there is any sport which is cheap when you factor in petrol/travel costs and that is already taxed!

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 1185.

    It becomes a bit silly when a government insists disabled people work and then insists in a competitive ethos. Not that disabled people can't match the able-bodied but it is naive to think that a competitive environment could be fair

    Physical education should be about health not competition This would lead to sportsmen not breaking down and less people living in pain and lower NHS costs

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1184.

    That old myth about state schools discouraging competition -- every Tory PM since Thatcher has felt obliged to trot it out. In 1987 Thatcher commissioned an inquiry into the subject, which went on to prove her wrong. Major astonished the teaching profession by announcing that there was no more sport in schools. The fact is that pupil's participation in sport rose under the last Labour government.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1183.

    1177- our pie is bigger than your pie, thats funny.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 1182.

    All children should be made to appreciate where they fit into the athleticism, health & fitness of their peer group, how can they appreciate what is good?
    The educational system in the UK has been a disgrace over the last few decades; blaming teachers pay for lack of commitment to helping the children in their charge understand what competitive sport is about! The kids suffer due to lazy mentors

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1181.

    Pity Cameron's new underclass: our August-born school kids. 79 members of GB athletics squad. 20 born in Sept/Oct, 6 in July/Aug. Of the two August-born athletes, 1 was schooled in Cuba, the other in Kenya till 8. Surely if August babies were more 'competitive' they'd be fine, and not even a little bit thrashed by classmates 11 months senior. I know you were born early October, but play fair Dave.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1180.

    Can anyone get this muppet to keep his mouth shut ? He is an embarrassment. He has NO CLUE what his cuts are doing to schools, school sports & everything else.
    He also needs to do RESEARCH. HIS own Tory Party sold off many, many school sports fields during the 70's/80's & early 90's - that's why that generation of kids were not as successful at sports.
    It's not rocket science Cameron !

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 1179.

    Use the money the NHS would use to treat obesity related conditions on sport in schools. Then get the NHS to tell the fatties to take a running jump - after all, they got there through every fault of their own, they should sort themselves out.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 1178.

    the man thinks we are idiots.

  • Comment number 1177.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 1176.

    Do they still have open shower blocks in schools these days? When we got to high school the teacher told us they didn't work and the cheer and relief that went around the changing room, brilliant, they stayed 'broken' too.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1175.

    Yes Dave, and the necessary change requires getting rid of anyone who would be so astoundingly stupid as to sign off on selling off playing fields. Michael Gove, for example.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 1174.

    Good idea Mr Cameron. Perhaps we could start by selling off a load of school playing fields!?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1173.

    It's all a Game to these Tories.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 1172.

    School sport has suffered due to a decrease in competitive opportunities.
    3-11 teachers are not trained to deliver such opportunities. At 11+ schools do not offer enough meaningful clubs and fixtures. At post 16 there is a major preoccupation with examination PE at GCSE, AS & A level. The PE teachers need support to get back to teaching sports, arranging fixtures & linking with clubs!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1171.

    If we want our kids to be better at sports then we need a government who is NOT going to cut funding and sell our school playing fields. In other words we need to vote the Tories out !

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1170.

    My TA sister told me the secondary school she is employed with has a sports budget that will barely provide 1 tennis ball per student. DC if you can't afford the equipment, the athletes of the future stand little chance.
    This is a secondary school within an 'Olympic Borough'.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1169.

    When I was at school in the 70s, my school shared a huge sports field with a neighbouring school. Under the Tories in the eighties, two thirds of that area was sold off to housing developers - capacity that wont be replaced. Yet a different Tory government pursues the same idiotic policy while claiming it is investing in sport. Cameron + co are short sighted and entirely hypocritical.

 

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