Government is alerted to youth crisis
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.”