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Future Olympic athletes- with no school playing field?

8 August 2012

The Guardian have today reported that despite the pledge of the coalition government to “protect school playing fields” Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has approved 21 out of 22 requests to sell school fields since 2010.

The criteria required for a request to be agreed is that the “sports needs of the school can continue to be met” and that the school reinvests the proceeds of sale to improve sports or educational facilities, preferably in outdoor sports facilities.

With over 50% of Olympic medal winners for Team GB being privately educated, there has been concern over the adequacy of state school sports facilities. Many people, including the British Olympic Association, are calling for an urgent overhaul of school sports policy.

Giving all students the opportunity to get involved in a variety of sports, both indoor and outdoor is an important part of this policy and, without a school playing field, it is difficult to see how schools can successfully improve their sports facilities to cater for the next generation of Olympic athletes.

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