London 2012 stars light up School Sport Conference
Gold, silver and bronze medallists from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be among the stars of the show as the School Sport Conference gets under way today (Tuesday 16 October) at the Kettering Conference Centre.
Delivered by the Youth Sport Trust and supported by Sport England, the conference, titled Inspiring the Next Generation, will reflect on the fantastic summer of sport that captivated the nation and look at how school sport is evolving to keep young people interested and engaged.
Conference delegates will hear from London 2012 Olympic rowing gold medallist Alex Gregory, Paralympic silver medallist archer Mel Clarke and GB hockey bronze medallist Alex Danson who will all reflect on their sporting achievements this year.
County Sport Partnerships, National Governing Bodies of Sport and School Games Organisers are among the 500 invited guests attending to hear keynote speeches from Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth Sport Trust and Maria Miller, the new Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
"We have all seen for ourselves the magnificent sporting endeavours and achievements this summer and how sport can unite and inspire a nation. We are now in the critical phase of turning the inspiration that London 2012 created into tangible and lasting change for the next generation. We should not take this as a given, it will not happen without a huge amount of commitment from all of us. School sport plays a pivotal role in this.
"Whilst this conference will celebrate the incredible year of sport we have had I also hope it will motivate those who are involved in the delivery of school sport to deliver the best possible experiences for their pupils."
Speaking on the importance of school sport Maria Miller, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, said:
"A lifelong love of sport begins at an early age. The people who teach children sport know what a positive influence it can be in a child's development and how it can stay with them throughout their lives. This is exactly why Michael Gove and I are committed to working together, to ensure that school sport thrives and healthy competition is promoted. We want to inspire children from a young age to participate; great school sport is key in achieving this. Now we are more determined than ever to leave a lasting legacy from 2012, inspiring a new generation of youngsters to play sport."
Mike Diaper, Sport England's Director for Community Sport, said:
"As we build on the inspiration of an unforgettable summer of sport, we must strive to give every young person the right opportunities to get involved in sport and compete. Delegates here today are playing a vital role both in delivering high-quality school sport and in supporting local sports clubs to set up on school sites to help young people to make the shift from school sport to developing a sporting habit for life."