School sport driving up sports participation in the UK

Drawing in sports clubs and families into school sport is proving successful in driving up sports participation, says England’s Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Steve Grainger in an interview with EURACTIV.

Eurobarometer figures from 2004 on sports participation suggest that as few as 17% of adults across the EU take part in sport at least three times a week.

A core part of the drive to build more sport into school curricula in the UK is the Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links (PESSCL) Strategy, says Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Steve Grainger.

The aim is to increase the percentage of 5-16 year olds who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality physical education (PE) and sport, within and beyond the curriculum, to 75% by 2006 and to 85% by 2008.

The project brings a number of schools in a given area into contact with a particular club with well-qualified sports instructors. All schools in the country will belong to a partnership by 2006.

Grainger says it is already achieving results, pointing to a 2004 survey of 9,000 schools showing that 62% of pupils in partnership schools spent at least two hours in a typical week on high quality physical education and school sport within and beyond the curriculum. The figure rose to 68% for the longest-established partnerships, he added.

Read the full interview

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