UK Politics

Conservative Party: 2012 Olympics will be extraordinary

News   •   Oct 08, 2010 11:53 BST

Pupils from schools in nine communities will be the first to participate in the national sporting competition, both within their own schools, and against other local schools - all covering a wide range of sports including Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

The scheme will then culminate in a national spring competition in the brand new 2012 Olympic Park, with formal opening and closing ceremonies and medals.

Schools in the Black Country, London, Cornwall, Greater Manchester, Hertfordshire, Kend, Lincolnshire, North Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear will pilot the competition from early next year, culminating in events in each county during the summer. The experiences of children taking part in the pilots will be used to help finalise plans for the nationwide event taking place in the year of the London Olympic Games.

Announcing the School Olympics plan during his speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Hunt declared:  'This will bring competitive sport within reach of millions of children for the first time, building their confidence, boosting their ambition, and preparing them for the competitive world outside.'

Mr Hunt also announced the return of Lottery funds to grassroots sport after years of Labour plundering.

He declared: 'After 13 long years of seeing the Lottery plundered by Labour, we will finally be returning it to its original four pillars. Grassroots sport - of course, but also art and heritage will all benefit by as much as £50 million each year. We will also insist that Lottery distributors spend no more than 5% of what they distribute on administration. No lobbying; and no press officers. Because the Lottery is the people's millions, and not the politicians' pot.'