Use Olympics to boost health, says Lord Coe

15th June 2007 at 01:00
TEACHERS SHOULD see the 2012 Olympic Games in London as a way of tackling deep-seated medical problems in Wales, says Lord Sebastian Coe.

The Olympic legend spoke to TES Cymru about his thoughts on the role of schools in the countdown to the games. But instead of encouraging Wales to nurture gold medallists and produce more sporting stars, he said promoting healthy lifestyles was much more important to the nation.

Alluding to high levels of obesity and heart-related problems, he said:

""The hope is that young people will form patterns of exercise and healthy living to address some of the deep-seated medical issues particular to South Wales."

Lord Coe, double Olympic gold medallist, attending the Welsh Local Government Association's annual conference at Swansea's Liberty Stadium last week, said that teachers should also use the games to engage with children across the entire school curriculum, firing pupils' imaginations in a variety of subjects.

The former Conservative MP made reference to 500 Olympic model schools in China, where the arrival of the games in Beijing next year is already being used as a focal point for teaching.

"What they have done really well is to use the games as a way of driving the whole school curriculum," he said.

He added that schools had to use the 2012 games as a way of building links with more sports clubs and coaches "There are a number of ways of looking at school engagement," he said. "It has already started, with schools and clubs forming partnerships and local clubs being more proactive, getting into schools to offer their services as a supplement to some of the PE teaching."

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