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News - 8 August 2012

Lord Moynihan urges Government to “step up to the mark.”

t a news conference at the weekend, the Head of the British Olympic Association Lord Moynihan called for an urgent overhaul of school sport policy, saying private school dominance of sports was "wholly unacceptable".

Lord Moynihan challenged ministers to increase funding for school sports and improved facilities to encourage youngsters to develop their talents. He spoke out amid fears that sport could suffer after the Olympics in the continuing hunt for cuts in public spending.

Around 7% of children in the country are privately educated, but at the last Olympics one third of Team GB went to independent schools, nearly 40% of British medal winners, and 50% of gold medallists.

The comments come as the Charities Aid Foundation release figures showing that the income of local sports clubs and charities fell 15% in real terms since 2004. This was the year before London secured the 2012 Olympics bid.

The analysis reveals a bleak picture for community sport at a time when ministers are keen to secure a legacy to the games. It is the amateur spots clubs and charities that are key to helping sportsmen and women from less advantaged backgrounds.

Richard Harrison, director of research at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), said the last eight years had been tough for many sports clubs and charities, particularly the smaller ones.
"The financial pressures facing many community charities running sports clubs, maintaining playing fields and keeping local facilities open, mirrors the difficult financial climate facing many charities."

A government spokesman said: “We want a truly lasting legacy from these Olympics and a big part of that means more young people taking part in competitive sport.
“Schools are part of the answer – that is why we have set up the 2012 School Games competition.  “But more young people taking part in competitive sport can't be driven by top down Whitehall policies, as we have seen previously. It must be led by parents and communities

If you need any help and advice with Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
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