Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDeserted: But is this the future for English sport? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Deserted: But is this the future for English sport? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Deserted: But is this the future for English sport?

50 million pounds in modern football will buy you a prolific striker, but at grassroots level how much of a difference can 50 million pounds make?

 On the 20th October Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that the Government would be scrapping the entire 162 million pound budget for the School Sports Partnerships (SSPs.) The announcement was met by mass public outrage, with more than 600 thousand people signing a petition supporting the SSPs. A letter signed by over 80 world class athletes was also sent to Number 10 protesting against the cuts, causing the Government to take a U turn on their decision. They will now keep the School Sports Partnerships running with 65 million pounds and using 45 million pounds to pay for schools to release P.E teachers for one day a week to encourage participation in sports.

450 School Sports Partnerships are going to be affected by the cuts; meaning millions of students will have less sporting opportunities. The SSPs, entirely funded by the Government, are groups of school working together to develop P.E and chances to play sports for all young people. The partnerships also encourage teaching of sports to students, with secondary schools having School Sports Co-Ordinators, who run fun and educational sessions for surrounding primary schools. The work done by the SSPs allows schools to have more physical education lessons. The pupils also get more opportunities to play sports their school may not be able to fund itself. The SSPs also organise and run festivals, with over 9000 students participating in activities organised by the partnership in Teesdale.

 Locally 65 schools are linked with the SSPs all over Northamptonshire, with each one dedicated to improving the standard of local sport and offering students the teaching and the facilities to do so. Despite the cuts, and the possibility SSPs may not be funded after the summer, the chair of the Your Sports Trust, Baroness Sue Campbell, seemed positive. “The Youth Sport Trust is absolutely delighted that the coalition Government has taken the decision to build on the great work that is being delivered across the country. We are also delighted they are providing a level of investment that will allow all young people to continue to have opportunities to take part and compete in sport. We are fully committed to support schools as they transition into this new phase of development.”

But with 50 million pounds cut how much difference will that make to the future of English sport? The year of 2010 was a strong year for British sport. Despite England football’s golden generation failing to live up to the hype the country witnessed many successes. David Haye established himself as a dominant force in Heavyweight boxing and Amir Khan continued his rise to greatness. Europe clinched the Ryder Cup and Derby born Lee Westwood became the number 1 golfer in the world. Even in early 2011 England beat Australia in their own backyard, for the first time in 24 years, to retain the Ashes. However will this current successes continue with teenagers health taking a downward spiral? With video games and television taking priority over sports in modern culture SSPs are vital to keeping the future of sport bright. 50 million pounds cut could mean many kids won’t receive opportunities in sport. 

Is 50 million pounds the cost of the future of English sport?

Apparently so.

Nathan Price



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