Leading figures from the world of education and sport are gathering in Telford today (Wednesday 8 February) as the Youth Sport Trust's 2012 national conference gets underway.
In what is an extremely exciting year for PE and school sport - the two-day conference, which is sponsored by TechnoGym and supported by PGL, allows school leaders the opportunity to share ideas and innovations on how sport can be used right across the curriculum to improve attainment and achievement.
Headteachers, directors of specialism, PE teachers and school sport practitioners, including those from Youth Sport Trust Member and Partner schools, will hear from high profile speakers over the two days who have a range of unique experiences and insights.
They include keynote addresses from Olympic gold medallist, Jason Gardener, Steve Munby, Chief Executive, National College for School Leadership, Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth Sport Trust and memory extraordinaire David Thomas.
Alongside the headline speakers there is a packed programme of workshops, seminars and networking opportunities that allow schools to share ideas and innovations on how best to deliver PE and school sport.
Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Officer, John Steele, said:
Our 2012 conference aims to provide inspiration and support to those involved in the delivery of school sport and demonstrate how sport can be used right across the curriculum to improve the performance of young people.
With the Olympic and Paralympic Games on home soil this year it is crucial that schools maximise the opportunity to motivate and inspire their pupils through PE and sport.
If we can capitalise on this special moment in time we can put in place a platform that will lead to young people living healthier and more active lives.
2012 promises to be a very special sporting year for schools. The Sainsbury's School Games, which the Youth Sport Trust has been commissioned by Sport England to deliver, will see young people up and down the country competing in local competitions and regional festivals as well as around 1,600 competing in the flagship national event at the Olympic Park in May.
Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week is set to be bigger than ever this year with schools getting the chance to stage their own games and capture the excitement of London 2012. A new addition this year is World Sport Day, taking place on 25 June, the first day of National School Sport Week. World Sport Day is a celebration where schools can welcome the world to the UK with young people learning about the teams, athletes and culture of the 205 competing nations.
A conference highlight this year will be discussions around the success of the Change4life sports clubs initiative, funded by the Department of Health. Designed to increase the number of school-based sports clubs the latest research shows the initiative has led more than 10,800 'non sporty' young people now choosing to take up sport.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, said:
"We have invested £8.4 million into Change4Life School Sports Clubs and the evaluation shows this has led to a 166 per cent increase in non-sporty children choosing to play sport every week.
"In the next four years we will extend Change4Life School Sports Clubs and support School Games Organisers to take these benefits further and faster. This is great news and will help us achieve a real legacy for school sport and help make physical activity part of everyday life."