Hunt looks to schools Olympics

Jeremy Hunt wants to engage children in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics
Jeremy Hunt wants to engage children in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics

By staff

Schoolchildren up and down Britain will be encouraged to take part in a nationwide schools Olympics event culminating before the main event of 2012, Jeremy Hunt has said.

The culture, media and sport secretary told Conservative delegates in Birmingham pilot schemes would take place next year before the first finals take place in the Olympic Park.

Mr Hunt is appalled that only a fifth of children play regular sport against other schools.

Aides highlight cancellations of school sports days because of wet grass and fears that children could fall over as part of a wider problem.

Mr Hunt's schools Olympics are designed to solve the problem.

"The success of this project will not be a Schools Olympics in 2012. It will be a Schools Olympics in 2013, 2014 and 2015," he said.

"A lasting Olympic legacy. A lasting increase in the number of children playing competitive sport. And a lasting boost to values that will help every child make the most of his or her life."

The culture secretary also used his speech to confirm the National Lottery will be returned to its original four pillars within the next few weeks.

Grassroots sports are expected to benefit alongside art and heritage by £50 million a year each as a result of the move.

"We will also insist that lottery distributors spend no more than five per cent of what they distribute on admin," he added.

"Not lobbying. Not press officers. Because the lottery is the people's millions and not the politician's pot."


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