Pilot sports events established to boost participation among young

SCHOOLS from nine areas in England will participate in a pilot sports event next year as part of efforts to ensure the 2012 Olympics gets more youngsters playing competitive games.

Announcing the event at the Tory conference, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said only around one in five children regularly plays sport against other schools.

“We are seeking a lasting legacy in the numbers playing competitive sport,” Hunt told delegates.

The Schools Olympics pilot event will start early in 2011 and allow children to compete in a range of sports including Olympic and Paralympic disciplines. It will culminate in county-level events next summer, which will help finalise plans for Olympic year 2012.

The 2012 event will end with a national competition in the Olympic Park in London, featuring opening and closing ceremonies and medals.

Meanwhile, Hunt will today unveil plans for the government’s long-term ambition for the Olympic park once the games have ended.

Last week footballers from West Ham visited Downing Street to present the club’s bid to run the Olympic stadium and convert it into a 60,000 seater arena for community use.