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Downing Street hosts reception for National School Sport Week

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Gordon Brown with Kelly Holmes
Premier launch - Prime Minister with Dame Kelly




7 July 2008





Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted a special reception at 10 Downing Street on Thursday July 3rd for Dame Kelly Holmes and a group of young people to help celebrate the first ever National School Sport Week.


National School Sport Week, a government initiative managed by the Youth Sport Trust and supported by Norwich Union, engaged up to 3 million children across the country in a week of focused PE and school sport activity last week - Monday June 30th to Friday July 4th.


Dame Kelly was also  joined by Education Secretary Ed Balls MP and Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP,  and Chairman of UK Athletics Ed Warner.


Showing his support, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "We need to put school sport back where it belongs - playing a central role in the school day. National School Sport Week is a great opportunity to do just that and I'm confident that it will help get young people fit and physically healthy. Whatever their natural ability and whatever their age, sport and activity can make our children healthier, raise self-confidence and self-esteem. It develops teamwork, discipline and a sense of fair play. Values that will stand young people and the country in good stead in the years to come."


Ed Warner said:  “Athletics forms the basis of nearly every other sport - running, jumping and throwing. It's vital that these foundations are built well at a young age, hence the importance of School Sport Week. I'm keen to support all initiatives to increase the amount of well coached, enjoyable sport in Britain's schools.”


Through their partnership with the Youth Sport Trust and a variety of UK Athletics schemes, Norwich Union has been backing British sport from playground to podium since 1999.  Mark Hodges, Chief Executive of Norwich Union Life, explains:


“We believe that the National School Sport Week is a positive sign of change in the development of youth activity in Britain. Through our work with Kelly Holmes and the Youth Sport Trust, Norwich Union is committed to preparing future champions and making it easier for the nation to get involved in sport at all levels.”


The National School Sport Week was shaped by schools and pupils themselves, who had been set the task of coming up with the most innovative activity during the week. Activity focussed around the following key themes:


Celebrate – everything that has been achieved in PE and school sport over the last year, including the rise in numbers of young people participating, the range of young talented sports performers coming through from school-level and the contribution made by young leaders and volunteers to school sport and to helping younger pupils achieve their potential.


Develop - National School Sport Week is an opportunity fornew initiatives and developments in PE and school sport to be launched in schools. This summer we will see new and innovative developments in schools delivering more intra school competition as well as the launch of the national network of Competition Managers who are rejuvenating inter-school competition.


Profile – the week will provide an opportunity for schools to raise awareness ofall the fantastic work taking place in PE and school sport both nationally and at a local level.


The week included such activities as:


  • Festivals of Sport (including TOP Sportsability festivals, multi-skill and multi-sport festivals). Young Leaders have been trained through TOP Link (within the Step into Sport leadership programme) to plan and run these festivals for primary aged young people.
  • Intra school competition – led by School Sport Co-ordinators and supported by young leaders
  • Inter school competition – led by Competition Managers and supported by the school sport network
  • Local activity – innovative and creative ideas organised at a local level