Schoolchildren to be given the chance to try Olympic Sports as part of a £6 million Government scheme!
Beginning this autumn, Olympic sports such as badminton, fencing, handball, table tennis, and volleyball, as well as Paralympic sports boccia and wheelchair basketball will be on offer at the first of 3,000 clubs being set up in secondary schools and colleges across England.
All of the clubs, which are to be funded by Government and National Lottery money, are set to be up and running by spring 2011 as part of the participation drive ahead of the London 2012 Games.
New equipment and qualified coaches to run the clubs alongside young volunteers are also to be paid for from the £6 million pot.
Bradshaw said: "These new clubs will be a fantastic opportunity for teenagers to get active and experience a number of our Olympic and Paralympic sports.
"We hope this will be just the start and that schools across England build on this investment and deliver a network of clubs covering every Olympic sport, long after London’s closing ceremony.
"The 2012 Games are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform sport in this country - both in terms of medals and in getting more people playing sport."
Youth Sport Ambassador Denise Lewis (pictured) also welcomed the news as a huge boost for school sport.
The Olympic heptathlon gold medallist from the Sydney Games in 2000 said: "The Government announcement for funding to develop 3,000 new after-school clubs on school and college sites is great news.
"Whilst visiting schools up and down the country in my role as a School Sport Ambassador with the Youth Sport Trust, I’ve seen how excited children are that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be taking place here in 2012.
"There will undoubtedly be an increased demand among young people for access to sports clubs following London 2012, particularly in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
"The sports being offered through these new school-based clubs, such as handball, fencing and boccia have the potential to attract those young people who might otherwise not be engaged in sport or physical activity.
"School-based clubs will also develop a sense of belonging within a club setting and encourage the regular participation that is associated with future community club membership.
"By having more sports clubs based on school sites, there will be better opportunities for young people to continue playing sport after-school which also removes the problem of transportation between school and a community club.
"Additional funding going into school sport is crucial if we are to build on the enthusiasm which the 2012 Games have already created in this country.
"Young people need to see that we are investing in their future health and well-being and as a mum of three, I know how much children can benefit from taking part in sport and having different opportunities to try something new.
"I welcome this investment into school-based sports clubs and will keep a close eye on how things develop as I continue my work with the Youth Sport Trust."
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