The Youth Sport Trust backs many of the findings from a new report by the Young Foundation today titled 'Move It', particularly those relating to school sport being a key focus for achieving a meaningful legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The report looks at participation rates in physical activity and sport among adults and young people, and raises a number of issues that act as barriers to increasing participation levels.
John Steele, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:
"This report highlights many concerns that we already know to be true about the levels of physical activity among the young. It acts as a further warning that action needs to be taken.
"If as a nation we want to increase participation levels in sport and physical activity among young people, the focus must be at school level, particularly primary schools when children have their first school sport experience.
"The Move It Report questions the role of competitive sport in schools. It is our belief that competition is an absolutely critical tool in the development of a young person, but schools must balance this with the need to provide a range of sports that appeal to all pupils and can increase participation rates.
"Ensuring competitive sporting opportunities is essential but not enough on its own. What will really make the difference is ensuring that the quality of this experience is high. The only way to do this is to provide excellent quality teaching and coaching. We believe there is currently a lack of adequate support and training for primary school teachers in PE which leads to many lacking the confidence and competence to deliver the subject well to their pupils.
"The report focuses on raising participation, but what is less evident, is the broader range of benefits that sport produces for young people - these include, improved health, well-being, educational attainment and broader leadership and citizen skills."