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Hunt wants Games to act as school sports catalyst

06/08/2012 Joanna
The culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that school sports are going to be a "focus" for the coalition following the conclusion of the Olympic Games, which is currently taking place in London.

Mr Hunt told the BBC that current fitness provision in schools is "patchy" and that he wants to ensure that "the very best examples" help underperforming establishments to improve their offering.

"This is absolutely going to be a focus over the next few months and one of the things we really want to take away from these Games," he added.

Responding to suggestions that more funding needs to go towards helping younger pupils, the culture secretary was keen to emphasise the role of the primary teacher in establishing a sporting mentality.

"Primary school is where it all starts," he said. "Catching people young is incredibly important."

Despite acknowledging that there is room for improvement in the system, Mr Hunt was keen to emphasise that Britain is currently lying third in the medal table at the Olympics, having already won 16 golds.

However, when asked if becoming a successful sportsman or woman was about luck, Mr Hunt said: "There are some people who are very lucky to have really inspiring teachers."

Mr Hunt also made reference to the success of the School Games, which took place earlier this year.

Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, the multi-sport event gave 1,600 elite school-age athletes the chance to show their ability at venues including the Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome and the Aquatics Centre.

In all, over £128 million of Lottery and government funding will support the School Games programme over the next three years.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "The School Games is an important part of our programme of encouraging young people to get involved and get active."

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