Primary school sport must be boosted to prevent a generation of children growing up less fit than their parents, according to Sebastian Coe, the man behind London’s extraordinarily successful Olympic Games.
Lord Coe, the chairman of the London organising committee and a former double Olympic gold medallist, was speaking in the wake of a row about the Government cutting fundign for school sport and scrapping a target of two hours of school sport a week for children. David Cameron was criticised earlier in the day for claiming that many schools were focused on “Indian dance” rather than competitive sport.
Lord Coe said: “It is very, very important that we do everything we can to maintain high quality physical education in schools, and in primary schools it is particularly important because it is my instinct that if you haven’t got that pattern and love of sport and pattern of exercise by year 10 or 11, it is going to be quite hard to introduce that to 14- and 15-year-olds with the cluttered landscape that you are then competing against.
“It is really important that we promote competitive support in schools. It is very important that we recognise that has to be underpinned by good quality physical education and by getting people into patterns of exercise.
“We have to recognise that we are likely to be the first generation of parents that are fitter than our kids. There are some big challenges out there and they are not easily captured.