On the right track

20th July 2007 at 01:00
A greater emphasis on competitive sport will form the focus of a new government drive to increase children's participation in sport.

Gordon Brown has launched a pound;100 million funding package to offer every schoolchild up to one hour of sport a day, five days a week. The Prime Minister has called for a "united team effort" in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012.

But it will not just be down to schools to provide the extra exercise. Only two hours a week will form part of the statutory curriculum. Mr Brown also called upon parents, volunteers, coaches and the wider sporting community to help offer the daily sport.

The plans include a drive to increase competition within and between schools, and the introduction of a new national school sports week to encourage this.

A network of 225 competition managers across the country will work with primary and secondary schools to increase the amount of competitive sport they offer.

Sporting bodies will also be encouraged to develop modern school sport competitions leading to local, regional and national finals.

Mr Brown said: "Watching sport is a national pastime. Talking about sport is a national obsession. But now we need to make taking part in sport a national characteristic."

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