SPORT in Salisbury's primary schools is set to receive a welcome boost as part of the legacy of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The area's schools will share in £1,725,100 being awarded to Wiltshire Education Authority - its part of the extra £150million Olympic legacy fund announced by the Prime Minister to help transform school sport, improve coaching for the youngest pupils and inspire the Olympic and Paralympic stars of the future.
David Cameron said London 2012 gave Britain a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire a nation to enjoy sport and the Government wants to embed that into the school day from an early age.
The PM said: “The Olympic and Paralympic Games marked an incredible year for this country and I will always be proud that we showed the world what Britain can do. I want to ensure the Games count for the future too and that means capitalising on the inspiration young people took from what they saw during those summer months. This investment will benefit a whole generation of children for many years to come.”
Each state primary school in England will receive a lump sum, with a per-pupil top-up.
A typical primary school with 250 primary aged pupils will receive £9,250 per year - the equivalent of around two days a week of a primary teacher or a coach’s time – enough to make sure every pupil in the school can do sport with a specialist.
The funding is to be ring-fenced and can only be spent on sporting projects.
Salisbury MP John Glen, said: “Young people across Salisbury will benefit from this announcement. This money will help to secure the Olympic legacy and support our gold medal winners of the future.”
The announcement has been welcomed by some of the stars of the Games.
Olympic gold winner, Jess Ennis CBE, said: “It is great to see initiatives that help to give really young children the chance to take part in sport. This latest funding for primary schools sounds fantastic – now whether in an inner city or small rural community, young kids will be introduced to fun ways to be active that will spark an interest in taking part in sport as they grow up.”
Double Olympic Champion, Mo Farah CBE, added: “It is great to see a commitment to funding school sport and that it is something I passionately believe in. I am very excited to know that lots of children will be able to get involved in sport while at school and get more help from teachers and coaches. It really is very important.”
Funding will go directly into the hands of heads and teachers who will decide what is best for their children’s needs. This could vary from specialist coaching and teacher training to dedicated sports programmes, Change4Life sport clubs and support for after-school or weekend competitions.