Friday, 13 January 2012

London 2012: Funds for school-site sports clubs

American Football teams are set to receive fresh incentives to work with local schools under a new government scheme aimed at getting youngsters to continue their sporting development post-16.

A third less people play sport after they conclude compulsory education than before it, and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has now announced a £1bn strategy in order to combat a growing issue.

The funding will be used to ensure that every secondary school in England has a "community sports club", and BAFA are set to encourage their member clubs to volunteer and join the scheme.

Under the five-year youth and community sport strategy, Sport England will help set up clubs where expert coaches will run sessions to create ties between schools and existing local sports clubs.

Over 2,000 soccer clubs have pledged to participate, along with 2,300 clubs from both codes of rugby and 1,250 cricket clubs.

Jeremy Hunt wants to get more sports into schools

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said Mr Hunt said:  "Despite huge investment of public funds since we won the right to host the Games, participation by young people in sport has been falling.

"We need a radical change in policy to address the deep-seated problem of people dropping out of sport when they leave school.

"Our bold approach will see money going to organisations that deliver on youth participation, but also withdrawn quickly from those which fail to meet agreed objectives."

The wider plans for encouraging greater participation in sport also include making school sport facilities more accessible to the general public, and moving the focus from adult participation onto a much younger target audience.

Dbl Coverage contributor Tom Snee, who took part in a similar scheme whilst playing for the Huddersfield Hawks, thinks the idea is a fantastic opportunity for American Football to build community links.

"We ran an after-school flag football coaching programme for 11-16 year olds at Salendine Nook High School, which really took off and created a connection between the university, the club and the community.

"Such a scheme would favour a National League side - particularly one with a junior or flag team - which will benefit the school in terms of making keeping fit enjoyable.  The club will also gain lots of positive publicity and perhaps a player or two along the way.

"This scheme is a really good chance for American Football to do good for the community as a whole."


  1. Is there a link to the actaul funding applicaion? The news report states thousands of clubs have already signed up. Is this "sportiviate"?

  2. I very much doubt this is Sportivate, since the timing would be very odd to launch this PR and statement well AFTER Sportivate rolled out.

    Also, Sportivate did not link directly to schools in this way. More details are welcome, I'll be asking Andy F directly.

  3. This sounds like a good idea, just wary of the logistics and how difficult it will be to actually get this funding. Somewhat similar to getting blood from a stone I should imagine.

    On the whole it really will benefit both the schools, the kids and especially the teams with junior/youth programs.


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