Written evidence from Youth Sport Trust (OLL 19)

 

1.0 Introduction

 

1.1 The Youth Sport Trust (YST) is an independent charity focused on building a brighter future for young people through high quality Physical Education (PE) and sport. Since its creation in 1994, YST has sought to promote the importance of PE and school sport and ensure that it is attractive, accessible, affordable and appropriate to all young people.

 

1.2 PE and sport are crucial components of a well-rounded education provision, having the power to improve young people's physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. Both PE and competitive sport are included among proposed 'Pupil Guarantees' in the current Children, Schools and Families Bill, which would see them become a legal requirement within schools.

 

1.3 YST conceptualised the model of School Sport Partnerships in 2000 and has worked with government to build a national network of 450 School Sport Partnerships (SSPs) across England. SSPs are families of schools working together to deliver more opportunities for every young person to participate, perform and lead in PE and sport. Every school in England is part of one of these partnerships with an aspiration to provide all young people with access to 5 hours a week of sport and PE by 2012.

 

1.4 At present, over 90% of young people aged 5 - 16 participate in 2 hours of PE and sport a week.[1] In order to achieve and sustain this level of participation, YST has developed resources and programmes for schools aimed at increasing access to high quality PE and sport for those young people who are not traditionally interested or engaged in sport. Winning the right to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 is a unique opportunity to turbo-charge this work and ensure that PE and sport in schools is revolutionised.

 

2.0 The Youth Sport Trust's role in the Olympic Legacy

 

2.1 YST is committed to transforming the PE and school sport offer for every young person and this is the focus of our contribution to the domestic sporting legacy of London 2012.

 

2.2 YST is working with government and other partners to achieve the aspiration outlined in Public Service Agreement 22 - to deliver "a successful Olympic Games and Paralympic Games with a sustainable legacy and get more children and young people taking part in high quality PE and sport." As part of this aspiration, there are specific targets concerned with the percentage of 5-16 year olds participating in at least 2 hours per week of high-quality PE and sport at school, together with the percentage of 5-19 year olds participating in at least 3 further hours per week of sporting opportunities. Progress toward those targets is detailed in the relevant section below. In addition, YST is a lead partner in the London 2012 Get Set Education programme, with specific responsibilities in the PE and Sport strand and Healthy and Active Lifestyles strand.

 

2.3 Internationally, as part of a programme called International Inspiration, YST has successfully partnered over 250 Sports Colleges with foreign schools, for a variety of sport-based projects. Working in partnership with the British Council, UK Sport and UNICEF, this programme was created as a direct response to the successful 2012 bid. It is focused on creating opportunities for young people of all abilities in schools and communities across the world to have access to high quality and inclusive Physical Education, sport and play. The PE and school sport system in the UK is recognised as a powerful model that can, with the right delivery, be successfully used to support other countries and cultures in the enhancement of their systems.

 

3.0 Ways of maximising the value of the Olympic Legacy both within the host boroughs, London and across the UK

 

3.1 The 2012 Games present a huge opportunity to increase participation in, and enjoyment of, PE and sport in schools. Many schools are using the 2012 Games to inspire learning right across the curriculum from PE through to English, maths and science, and beyond. YST is actively working with a group of sports colleges to maximise 2012 legacy and our strategy falls into three areas:

 

recruiting, training and embedding a new generation of coaches for a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports. The aim is to ensure an improved supply of coaches to respond to an anticipated demand following the 2012 games, particularly in some of the lesser known sports. Linked to this, YST is working with sports colleges to create more (and different) junior sports clubs and developing clubs on school sites.

creating PE change teams to improve the content and delivery of PE and ensure its appropriateness for all young people. Outcomes will be shared with all schools so that PE in schools further improves beyond 2012.

pioneering the use of all things Olympic and Paralympic across the school curriculum and using athletes with an interest in different subject areas to develop 500 visible pieces of work and resources to support every school to do the same from September 2012.

 

3.2 The 2012 Games provide a valuable opportunity to profile athletes that compete in sports not usually broadcast on mainstream media and act as a catalyst for increased take-up of those sports by young people.

 

3.3 YST has developed a number of resources and programmes that capitalise on the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. These range from nurturing gifted and talented young athletes in order to progress their talents, through to providing greater opportunities for young people to do more sport at school. YST has also developed a number of widely used interventions aimed at those young people most disengaged from sport and wider school life. Below are examples of some initiatives created by YST as a result of London winning the bid to host the 2012 Games.

 

3.4 Young Ambassadors, launched in 2006, was the first initiative to receive the London 2012 Inspire Mark[2] for education, awarded in 2008 by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Young Ambassadors, aged between 14 and 19 years old, promote Olympic and Paralympic ethos and values to other young people, acting as sporting role models to young people in their own communities. To date there are over 4000 Young Ambassadors in England, 40 in Scotland and 10 in Wales, and by March 2010 there will be 40 in Northern Ireland. By 2012 there will have been a total of 6000 Gold Young Ambassadors, 7000 Silver Young Ambassadors and 8000 Bronze Young Ambassadors across the UK.[3] The YA programme was specifically designed to involve a more diverse group of young people as leaders and to broaden the range of volunteering opportunities on offer.

3.5 National School Sport Week, sponsored by 2012 Games sponsor Lloyds TSB, aims to excite and motivate pupils to do more sport by celebrating and profiling achievements in PE in schools, and to launch new sport based initiatives. To achieve this, YST and Lloyds TSB provide free resources, including visits from Olympians and Paralympians, to help schools inspire their pupils. In 2009, over 3 million pupils from 10,000 schools across the UK made a 'Sports Pledge,' ranging from learning about an Olympic country to committing to do more physical activity, by trying new sports. Olympic and Paralympic values, such as inspiration, equality, respect and excellence, are captured within the activities of the week. National School Sport Week shows that increased participation can be achieved through an Olympic and Paralympic inspired events. In a survey shortly after National School Sport Week 2009, 92% of schools said the week inspired more young people to do more sport, and 71% of pupils who took part tried a new sport. By 2012, YST aims to have involved more than 20,000 state and independent schools across England, Wales and Scotland.

 

3.6 The UK School Games (UKSG) is in its fifth year and will take place in the North East of England in September 2010, with around 1600 competitors from 10 sports. The Games have previously been held in Glasgow, Coventry, Bristol and Bath and south Wales. The UKSG targets elite athletes of school age, with disabled athletes competing at the same event as able-bodied athletes. It integrates Olympic and Paralympic themes by ensuring that the values are promoted through volunteer training, opening and closing ceremonies and an athlete village, which itself includes an innovative Culture and Education programme for all athletes. They also create opportunities for young people to become engaged in volunteering at major sports events both as technical officials and event volunteers. These volunteers include international young leaders, as part of the Olympic Cultural Legacy. Of the 400 volunteers at the 2009 UKSG, 76% were under 24 and 53% under 18. Furthermore, 30% of the officials were under 24. YST believes that the opportunity for competitors to compete in Games of this nature or similar is of immense value. 86% of interviewed competitors, team managers/officials, and volunteers said the 2009 UKSG had given them an appreciation of what the Olympics or Paralympics might be like, and 92% said they have been inspired to improve themselves further by their participation in the UKSG.

 

3.7 National Talent Orientation Camp (NTOC) is an annual camp held to prepare talented young sports people aged 14-16 for the personal, sporting, academic and vocational challenges beyond compulsory education. The camp offers the opportunity to experience a multi-sport camp and train alongside other like minded young people. They get to meet hugely successful and respected role models from their sport and from other sports as well as find out from Paralympians and Olympians what it really takes to be the best in their sport. The camp is a blend of training sessions, workshops and key note speeches. The athletes will undergo several scenarios that may happen in the life of a real high performance athlete. Parents and teacher mentors are encouraged to attend the final day workshop. There is also a university road show to help the young performers find out about the sport support at those universities. 

 

4.0 The use and management of the Olympic Park and venues after 2012

4.1 YST would like to see the venues used in the 2012 Games opened up to future competition for young people. The Olympics will create memories indelibly attached to the stadia, and that can serve as a huge incentive for young people to achieve and excel in their sport at school. Following the Paralympic Games in 2012, YST would like to see the venues used for the UK School Games, providing athletes with an opportunity to compete in high profile venues and also opening up the venues to thousands of school children, teachers and parents to attend the UK School Games as spectators.

 

5.0 Progress towards meeting targets to increase grass roots participation in sport

 

5.1 Whilst there is continuing and close media scrutiny on how many more people are regularly participating in physical exercise, the most recent Annual Health Survey for England noted that children did better than adults in attaining their daily suggested amount of physical activity. Half of boys aged 2-10 (51%) and a third of girls (34%) among the 7,500 surveyed did an hour's moderate exercise every day. Overall 92% of areas have had a five-hour offer in place for young people since September 2009. Further, 90% of children aged between 5-16 doing at least two hours per week of high quality PE and Sport.

 

6.0 How success in delivering lasting legacy can be measured

 

6.1 A lasting legacy should be measured through a sustained participation at school level and beyond. The Games must also create further capacity in the system, including more coaches and clubs for young people and an improved competitive pathway. Like any major sporting event, there will undoubtedly be an increase in sporting activity around the time of the Games but the real test is sustained engagement and participation in sport well beyond 2012.

 

6.2 Research shows that PE and school sport can be used to drive whole school improvement and achievement. Sports Colleges have achieved annual increases in the percentage of pupils getting 5+ A* - C including English and maths in each of the last four years,[4] suggesting that the specialism has a positive impact on academic performance. Research evaluating School Sport Partnerships[5] support PE as also improving behaviour and attitudes to learning. Qualitative case studies have demonstrated that Head Teachers use sport to enhance motivation, particularly in targeted groups, and that PE was an effective vehicle for impacting on attendance, particularly where it was part of a wider package aimed at whole school change. PE also instils at an early age the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle before, during and after school.

 

6.3 By means of example, Droitwich Spa High School established an 'Olympic Framework of Learning' to enable effective transfer from middle school, integration into high school and development towards 2012. The programme was launched minutes after the Paralympic handover in Beijing, watched live in the school theatre. As a result, the initial Year 8 cohort (now in Year 9) evidenced the lowest exclusion rate in the school and student progress grades demonstrate significant improvement in effort and behaviour.

 

To reflect the diverse range of learning opportunities the Olympic and Paralympic Games presents, Hellesdon High School developed a new house system to provide pupils with a link to the Games in 2012 and raise pupils' motivation to take part in sporting activities. The school engaged its students in activities across the curriculum including in Technology (through a 'mini monuments' competition), Languages (developing a city guide), English (creating athlete biographies) and science (development of materials/Paralympic equipment such as running prosthetics).

 

Further examples of how schools are developing programmes and driving improvements using the Olympic values are available on the Get Set website.[6]

 

7.0 Conclusions

 

7.1 YST believes that high quality PE and school sport should form part of a well-rounded school curriculum, can be adapted to include those young people not traditionally engaged in sport, and can help young people to develop important life skills useful in employment after their education, be that within sport or in the wider job market.

 

7.2 Working with partners across the sport and education landscapes, including Olympics sponsors, we are developing interventions, programmes and resources to engage for all young people, tailoring where necessary to recognise the need to engage particular types of young people, be that to help Gifted and Talented pupils on a pathway to success or to engage more females and ethnic minorities.

 

7.3 When the impact of Olympics and Paralympics in increasing PE and school sport participation is measured against official targets strong progress is being shown. However, as a tool to increase sport and PE participation the 2012 Olympics also contribute to wider impacts on academic achievement, improved behaviour, attendance and social, mental and physical well-being.

 

January 2010

 



[1] 2007/2008 School Sport Survey

[2] As part of their winning bid, London promised to use the 2012 Games to inspire millions of young people through sport. The London 2012 'Inspire mark' recognises outstanding, non-commercial initiatives inspired by the Games.

[3] Gold Young Ambassadors work across School Sport Partnerships, Silver Young Ambassadors work in secondary schools and Bronze Young Ambassadors work in primary schools.

[4] From national data supplied by Department for Children, Schools and Families

[5] The impact of School Sport Partnerships on pupil Behaviour, found at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ ssehs/research/centres-institutes/youth-sport/pages/School%20Sport%20Part%20pdfs/Behaviour%2008.pdf

 

[6] http://getset.london2012.com/en/home