Olympian Victoria Pendleton headlines SGO Summit to improve school sport

Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton will speak to fellow advocates for youth sport in Coventry in a bid to grow competitive school sport in England.

Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton will speak to fellow advocates for youth sport in Coventry today (13 October) in a bid to grow competitive school sport in England.

Close on the heels of the Sainsbury's 2015 School Games, which saw 1,600 top young athletes competing in an Olympics-style multi-sport event for the Level 4 School Games Finals, the Youth Sport Trust is hosting the School Games Organisers (SGO) National Summit 2015.

Funded by Sport England using National Lottery money, the Summit will bring together School Games Organisers - whose role is to support School Games and Change4Life in schools throughout the country - County Sports Partnerships and National Governing Bodies of Sport to share best practice and celebrate achievements within the field of education and sport.

Pendleton, Britain's most successful female Olympian having won three Olympic track cycling medals and nine world titles, said: "I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a sporty environment, but not everyone has that opportunity. I hope that this event will help highlight ways that we can all inspire schools and their students to take part in sport."

She added: "I believe we need to help young people - particularly girls - find a sport that they can try to enjoy and to help them understand that it provides so many benefits, not just physical, but mental and social too.  It's not about having to be the best but rather encouraging young people to give it their best."

Across the country there are 20,000 registered to be part of the Level 1-3 School Games. Of the 450 delegates from across the country who will attend the SGO Summit, are teachers involved in organising their own School Games, Local Organising Committee members, County Sports Partnerships, and a range of representatives from National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Sport England Community Sport Executive Director Mike Diaper OBE, who will speak at the conference, said: "The SGO Summit is a fantastic opportunity to work together towards our common goal of encouraging more young people to participate in sport and physical activity and highlight all the benefit sport and physical activity bring."

Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver added: "This summit is a key event that brings together those who already understand the importance of engaging young people in sport to share ideas and build their skills and confidence to deliver more and even better PE and school sport.

"All four levels of the School Games continue to go from strength to strength and these are the unsung heroes of this important activity from across the country. PE and competitive sport build confidence and self esteem, and play an integral role in boosting academic achievement across all areas of education.

"The SGO Summit is designed to help delegates find ways to encourage more young people to enjoy sport and reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle."

The Summit will provide everyone with opportunities to learn and share from peers as well as offering the chance to hear from a range of inspirational, informative and practical sessions.

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