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SBD Global/August 13, 2012/Olympics
GB Keeping London Olympics Legacy Alive; Maintain Funding, Mandatory School Sports
Published August 13, 2012
WHAT'S NEXT?: The government said in a statement that "in the volunteering spirit of the Games," funded British athletes would be asked to offer up to five days a year of their time, for free, to inspire a generation through school sport (REUTERS, 8/12). Labour Party leader Ed Miliband wants a cross-party review of the funding system and said, "What the Games have proved is that they can inspire a country in ways you can't really put a price on." He added, "My proposal to David Cameron has been to put together a 10-year plan across all parties. Let's not make it political, let's get all the sporting bodies involved and look at how we do it" (BBC, 8/12). In London, Chris Cook noted Cameron announced it will soon be compulsory for children at local authority primary schools to take part in competitive team sport, "as he seeks to head off fears that sports provision will suffer in the wake of the London Olympic Games." Downing Street said that specific details will follow. It has, however, been said children in local authority schools would be required "to take part in competitive team sports, like football, netball and hockey, and will include team outdoor and adventurous activity" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/11). Also in London, Brian Brady noted that London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for two hours of compulsory sport a day for every pupil, while the British Olympic Association Chair Colin Moynihan warned the U.K. had been "treading water" for seven years over funding for school sports. Moynihan also said maintaining a predictable level of funding was "critical" to sustained success: "Stop-go funding is a disaster for sport. Countries that have applied that lose" (INDEPENDENT, 8/12).