Trends & Features

FSPA welcomes school sports funding review

Following Michael Gove’s announced cuts to school sports funding at the Comprehensive Spending Review on October 20, there has been much concern voiced by high profile sports stars, head teachers and pupils over this controversial decision.

The Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA) shares these concerns and has been lobbying to ensure that the promised legacy of the 2012 Olympics is delivered, which in turn will lead to an improvement in children’s health and activity levels.

The FSPA believes that ring-fenced funding for sport in schools is needed both to inspire a generation of young people through sport and to help protect UK sports industry jobs, which are vital to creating the Olympic legacy and protecting the future health of the nation.

Members of the FSPA, which represents over 400 UK sports and play companies, have a tradition of supporting the delivery of sport in schools.

FSPA members not only deal with the manufacture and supply of conventional equipment, but increasingly have been working with School Sport Partnerships to develop innovative programmes and products.

These innovations have directly contributed to the increase in school pupils participating in two hours’ PE a week.

The FSPA membership, with a collective turnover of £3.1billion, has a future reliant on keeping people engaged in sport, in particular at grass-roots level, which is why the decision to review school sport funding is particularly welcomed.

Speaking about the potential government re-think Tom Bunner, a member of the FSPA board and managing director of Eveque/Sportshall Athletics, has urged Michael Gove and David Cameron to attach more importance to the school sports infrastructure and do their upmost to ensure that investment remains at a level where competition and participation can be sustained.

“The World class infrastructure developed in recent years must continue in some capacity if we are to sustain children and young people in sport, says Bunner.

“This will ensure that the UK has a legacy and achieves long-term changes in attitude and behaviour, and a healthier and more active nation in the longer term.

“The industry is here to help the government deliver their targets whilst maximising limited resources, and as businesses this comes as second nature to us.

“Our message is clear: invest in our children’s futures in sport and look to us, the industry, for advice as to how to best achieve value and quality systems.”

The FSPA will be keeping abreast of the review and will endeavour to ensure the appropriate contacts are provided to members upon the government’s final decision.

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