February 6 - British Prime Minister David Cameron today guaranteed funding of £150 million ($246 million/€180,000) a year for primary school sport until 2020 to secure the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy.
The dedicated fund, announced in 2013 and began in September, will be extended for a further five years to provide a total of £750 million ($1.2 billion/€903 million), with primary schools continuing to receive £8,000 ($13,000/€10,000), plus £5 ($8/€6) per pupil, each year.
"Sport is so important because it encourages children to be active, lead a healthy lifestyle, make friends and, of course, have fun," 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.
"It's an important part of our long-term plan to deliver the best schools and skills for young people.
"That is why I am committing to guarantee the primary school sports funding until 2020."
The Prime Minister's Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador and former London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe welcomed the announcement and said it fits in with the "inspire a generation" theme of the Games.
Meanwhile, Youth Sport Trust chair Baroness Sue Campbell described the funding boost as an "incredible commitment" that can "transform PE" in Britain.
"For some time now we have called for a long term strategy for PE and sport that will allow schools the security to plan for sustainable improvements in the quality of PE teaching in primary schools," she added.
"If we are to develop excitement, enthusiasm and passion for sport and physical activity amongst young people then we must offer them a high quality PE and sport experience from an early age."
Baroness Campbell also reached out to head teachers to ask them to "carefully consider" how best to use the funding and advised them to "invest in up skilling their teaching workforce" to develop a rounded PE, physical activity and wellbeing strategy.
While the funding announcement was welcomed by leading figures in British sport, including double Olympic champion Mo Farah, National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower said the money "does not add up to a great deal" for schools without a dedicated PE teacher.
"Primary schools in particular have suffered from the withdrawal by the Coalition Government of the £160 million ($260,000/€190,000) per annum for School Sport Partnerships (SSPs)," she added.
"There needs to be far more recognition for sports and non-core subjects in schools to ensure that pupils enjoy the benefits of a well-rounded education."
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