Press release: School games: more volunteers to be recruited

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson announced today (16 March 2015) that the volunteer leaders and coaches grant will be extended for a fourth year at £392,000.

The grant aims to increase the quantity and quality of the volunteer workforce supporting and developing the school games.

The Sainsbury’s School Games is a national programme that aims to motivate and inspire millions of young people across the country to take part in more competitive sport.

Since the games were launched 4 years ago, more than three-quarters of schools have taken part.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said:

More than three-quarters of schools have taken part in the school games which continues to go from strength to strength.

As part of our plan for education, we want all young people to get involved with and enjoy playing competitive sport as we work to secure an olympic legacy.

I’m delighted to launch an extension of our successful volunteer programme – so even more young people can take part.

The money will be distributed through Sport England to 44 county sports partnerships across the country which will receive £8,000 each to train 30 volunteers to run the programme. The funding will be used to help pay for staff and training materials and to offer the volunteers formal qualifications.

Last year the majority of the volunteers who helped run the scheme were aged between 16 and 25. Evidence suggests younger volunteers are more likely to continue to volunteer over time, and this gives young people the opportunity to be involved in sport once they leave school.

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s Director of Community Sport, said:

The Sainsbury’s School Games are a fantastic way for both volunteers and athletes to get first-hand experience of what it’s like to be part of a major sporting event.

This funding will provide almost 1,500 young people with the opportunity to volunteer and coach, giving them inspiration to follow their sporting dreams.

Primary schools across the country are also receiving more than £150 million a year of PE (physical education) and sports premium funding.

The money – which works out as around £9,000 for a 250-pupil primary – can be spent by headteachers as they see fit on improving PE and sport.

Notes to editors

  1. County sports partnerships are networks of local agencies committed to working together to increase participation in sport and physical activity. Partners include national governing bodies of sport and their clubs, school sport partnerships, local authorities, sport and leisure facilities, primary care, trusts and many other sport and non-sporting organisations.
  2. The vision of the PE and sport premium:
    • all pupils leaving primary school physically literate and with the knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to equip them for a healthy lifestyle and lifelong participation in physical activity and sport
    • the objective of the PE and sport premium is to achieve self-sustaining improvement in the quality of PE and sport in primary schools
    • we would expect indicators of such improvement to include:
      • the engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity – kick-starting healthy active lifestyles
      • the profile of PE and sport being raised across the school as a tool for whole school improvement
      • increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
      • broader experience of a range of sports and activities offered to all pupils
      • increased participation in competitive sport

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