Premier League announces major investment in PE and sports in primary schools
Wed 13th Aug 2014 | Money & Finance
The Premier League has announced a three-year programme of support for primary school sport that will be delivered across the country.
The announcement was made at the Premier League Season Launch event at Capital City Academy, a school in Brent that has a 3G artificial grass pitch that was built in January 2014 by the Football Foundation (with funds from the Premier League, The FA and Government).
Capital's 3G pitch is used by 23 local primary schools, and clubs in the area, and acts as a local hub for community sport.
In the new phase of the programme the Premier League and other professional clubs will provide community coaches to deliver fun, high-quality, and age-appropriate PE and sport sessions in schools. They will also provide a pathway into competitive football opportunities for those that want them.
Last season the Premier League piloted the programme and 25 clubs (20 Premier League clubs and five Football League clubs) delivered more than 66,000 PE lessons and sport sessions in 1,279 schools to over 103,000 pupils.
The Premier League is investing £10.5 million to roll this project out in 67 Premier League and Football League clubs, providing opportunities for thousands more PE lessons to be delivered by our club coaches in England and Wales.
The quality and sustainability of the programme are critical to its success. A total of 612 club coaches are working towards accredited school sport qualifications (Level 3 Supporting PE and School Sport accreditation) while 285 teachers have been given Premier League training to deliver PE sessions to create a long-term legacy for schools.
Children's Minister Edward Timpson MP, talking after visiting Temple Primary, Manchester and participating in a PE lesson delivered by coaches from Manchester City's Foundation, City in the Community, welcomed the announcement.
"High-quality PE and sport should be at the heart of every school's curriculum," the minister said. "There is excellent evidence that regular physical activity can impact positively on pupils’ cognitive function, concentration, behaviour, and overall physical health - all things that can impact positively on wider attainment. Instilling PE and sport in a child’s life as early as possible can bring enormous benefits and can really help set them up to stay fit and healthy for life.
"One of this government’s key objectives is to improve the quality of PE and school sport both through the primary PE and sport premium and through building better community links between schools and local clubs. This approach gives schools the opportunity to invest sustainably in staff development. I saw both during my visit, with coaches working effectively with school staff to give them the confidence and skills they need to provide high-quality PE and sport all year-round."
Richard Scudamore, the Chief Executive of the Premier League, highlighted how the high-quality football that is put on by the League clubs and the popularity that it generates allows the organisation to invest in and support community sports facilities, school sport, and a variety of sports participation projects.
"Investing in the primary school sector, where everything begins, is a perfect fit with our overarching strategy of aiming to get more young people playing sport," Scudamore said. "The success of the first year of this initiative – with 66,000 PE lessons delivered by our club coaches - has given clubs the confidence to roll it out further and complement the huge amount of work they are already doing in the secondary school sector."
Posted by: Kev Howland
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