Elite Athletes Funding Plea to No. 10

November 30, 2010

Some of Britain’s elite athletes have written to prime minister David Cameron to arrange an urgent meeting to keep the annual £162m (US$250m) grant for school sports in the UK.

A decision was made by Education Secretary Michael Gove to cut the fund from March 2011 which helps 450 school sports partnerships across England. 75 high profile athletes including Denise Lewis, Gail Emms and Tessa Sanderson have signed a written letter to attempt to arrange an urgent meeting to change the decision made by Mr Gove.

Badminton star Emms was behind the letter which speaks strongly in its disapproval of the cut on funding to school sports. The money is currently used to run PE classes where no trained staff are involved and also organise and run clubs, competitions and events. The cut is set to be replaced with a new school Olympics scheme costing £10m ($15.5m).

The passionate letter to the PM reads, ‘With one ill-conceived cut you are on the brink of destroying everything schools, clubs and the national governing bodies of sport are doing to ensure this and future generations embrace sport and physical activity, not shun it.’

The letter adds: ‘The future health of all our children is at risk if you axe this funding. We urge you to act now, please, prime minister, and look again at the permanent withdrawal of funding for school sport partnerships before you condemn millions of children to a lack of sporting opportunities and therefore a bleak future of lethargy, obesity and unhappiness.’