Conservative Diary

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Gove and Hunt plan 'Schools Olympics' in bid to revive UK sport

In a typically beautiful column Boris Johnson reflects this morning on England's dismal failure at the World Cup. After dissecting 'the analysis' of Lineker, Shearer and Hansen London's Mayor thinks he has found the underlying cause:

"We are still paying the price of an educational establishment that developed an aversion to competitive games and an obsession with bureaucracy and elf and safety that made it hard for the voluntary sector to fill the gap. But let's look on the bright side. We have a new government that should be able to change that, and at least it didn't go to penalties."

We do, indeed, have a new government and as if by magic they are on the case.

_41543770_john_gregson At the City of London Academy today - with perfect timing - Education Secretary Michael Gove and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt are to launch an Olympics-style contest for school sports. The tournament will cover football, rugby, netball, golf, cricket (where we again did very well yesterday against Australia), tennis (C'mon Andy Murray!), athletics, judo, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, cycling and volleyball.

Michael Gove commented:

"We need to revive competitive sport in our schools. Fewer than a third of school pupils take part in regular competitive sport within schools, and fewer than one in five take part in regular competition between schools. The School Olympics give us a chance to change that for good."

The 'Schools Olympics' will be funded by £10m of Lottery cash, says Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt. He told the Daily Mail: "Sport – whether you win or lose – teaches young people great lessons for life. It encourages teamwork, dedication and striving to be the best that you can be."

It's a good start from the new government but only a start.

Tim Montgomerie


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