Tower Hamlets kids lag behind on sport

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 September 2010

WITH less than two years until the Olympic Games kick off in the East End, only half of our youngsters are doing the minimum amount of exercise a week.

WITH less than two years until the Olympic Games kick off in the East End, only half of our youngsters are doing the minimum amount of exercise a week.

Just 50 per-cent of children in Tower Hamlets are doing three hours of Physical Education a week, figures released by the Department of Education revealed this week.

And that figure continues to plummet as young people enter secondary school, with just 12 per-cent of sixth formers reaching the three-hour target.

Boys are slightly more active than girls in the borough, with 52 per-cent doing the three hour minimum. Only 45 per-cent of girls are doing the same.

MPs are now hoping an Olympics-style schools tournament will help kickstart our dire sporting culture.

Children’s minister, Tim Loughton, said: “Young people’s involvement in competitive sport remains disappointingly low.

“We aim to spark a competitive school sport revolution by giving thousands of young people the chance to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic style school sport competitions in 2012.

“This will give them the opportunity to develop important team-building skills and learn from the experiences of winning and losing.”

A Tower Hamlets Council spokesman said the borough had a huge range of sports on offer to youngsters, including judo, fencing an indoor rowing. They added that many out-of-schools activities were available, which weren’t included in the statistics.

The spokesman said: “The demands of academic courses do, of course, have an impact on what schools can offer in areas such as PE, when it is not an examined subject. However, we work hard to encourage post-16 participation through supporting accredited learning, working closely with Heads of PE throughout the year, promoting and offering inter-school competitions, staff training and leadership programmes.

“It must be noted that the data does not capture the complete picture, including those who do participate at school but for less than one hour, any community-based participation or work via colleges. The figures are, therefore, only part of the picture and do not reflect the wide range of participation underway.”

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