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Jeremy Hunt MP: The government is getting rid of the "prizes for all" culture and returning to competitive sport


Jeremy Hunt MP is Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

I can sum up our sports policy in three words: more competitive sport.

By banishing once and for all the left-wing orthodoxy that promotes "prizes for all" and derides competitio,n we allow sport to do what it does best of all: teach children to learn about how to cope with both success and failure - and most importantly, learn to pick yourself up when things don't go according to plan.

Today we passed an important milestone in that policy, because 8,000 schools have signed up to our School Games - one third of the schools in the country. This Olympic-style school sports competition means will harness the excitement of next year's games to create thousands of opportunities to play competitive sport up and down the country - and because it will continue every year after 2012, it will be a real sporting legacy.

Every school participating in the School Games will have to offer competitive sport throughout the year and not just on sports days. The winners will enter town and city-wide tournaments, leading to a national final. The inaugural national final will be from May 6th-9th next year in the Olympic Park - so schoolchildren will be able to run on the 100m track in the Stadium before Usain Bolt, swim in the brand new aquatic centre before Rebecca Adlington and cycle in the velodrome before Chris Hoy.

In addition, every school taking part will have an opening and closing ceremony to give a chance for artistically-talented children to shine.

They will also offer disability sport to make sure that we banish once and for all the terrible sight of disabled children left on their own, unable to take part in school sports days.

Rome wasn't built in a day and it will take time before all schools are offering the competitive sports opportunities they should. But the enthusiasm of so many schools to take part in the first year is encouraging - and may even help us win a few gold medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016.


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