Govern­ment is alerted to youth cri­sis

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Athletics - By Jeremy Wil­son

An al­liance of the lead­ing gov­ern­ing bod­ies in British sport has re­quested an ur­gent meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son to tackle the “pub­lic health emer­gency” of in­ac­tiv­ity among young peo­ple.

In a joint let­ter signed by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 42 sports or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, the Rugby Foot­ball Union, the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board and the Lawn Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion, the Govern­ment has been urged to com­mit to de­liv­er­ing an hour a day of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Just eight per cent of girls and 16 per cent of boys aged be­tween 11 and 18 are meet­ing guide­lines of an hour of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity each day. A third of chil­dren are even do­ing less than 30 min­utes of ac­tiv­ity a day.

The Daily Tele­graph launched its Girls, In­spired cam­paign ear­lier this year which called on the Govern­ment to sup­port school in a se­ries of key aims, in­clud­ing an equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity to ac­cess sports, new guide­lines, en­forced by Of­sted, which put PE on a par with core sub­jects and for schools to em­power girls by of­fer­ing a wider choice of ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Govern­ment launched its School Sport and Ac­tiv­ity Ac­tion Plan in July and, hav­ing ref­er­enced the Tele­graph’s cam­paign, pledged new funds for teach­ing train­ing and a range of in­no­va­tive mea­sures to mod­ernise PE, en­gage girls and make phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity a core part of the school day.

Of­sted also promised that those schools who of­fer ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties and op­por­tu­ni­ties to get ac­tive would be re­warded in their in­spec­tions.

New sports min­is­ter Nigel Adams has told The Tele­graph he would like to see up to five hours of sport ev­ery week in­side schools. At present, the rec­om­mended min­i­mum guid­ance is two hours of PE per week in state schools.

John­son has promised that chil­dren’s health and well­be­ing will be a “key pil­lar in my pro­gramme” and the sports sec­tor now wants to help de­velop tan­gi­ble poli­cies and strate­gies in part­ner­ship with the Govern­ment.

The let­ter to John­son re­quests a meet­ing and urges Govern­ment “to com­mit to de­liv­er­ing an hour a day of sport and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity for all young peo­ple.”

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