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Funding pledge for activity in schools

Up to £20m of funding to help get the least active children more involved in school sport is announced today by the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley.

The money will be used to help those children most at risk of becoming overweight or obese to experience sports. It forms part of the wider School Games announcement today by the government to boost competitive sport in schools.

The finding will come through two routes: £6.4m for Change4Life Clubs in secondary schools; and up to £14m of funding to support primary schools to take part in the School Games initiative. Andrew Lansley said, "We're making £6.4 million of new funding available to secure the future of the Change4Life Clubs in secondary schools until March 2013.

"We will also extend this innovative programme into primary schools next year. This means many more youngsters will have the chance to get involved with a range of Olympic and Paralympic sport through school.

"This money will create more exciting opportunities to get the least active children involved in sport and physical activity - with all the important health benefits that come with being more active."

To inspire children across the country to get involved in sport, and to incentivise schools to set their ambitions high, the Government has today announced a new School Games, for which every school will be invited to sign up. This package of annual events at school, district, county and national level has the potential to engage and excite every child.

The Games involves a new series of competitions within schools; more competitions between schools at district level; and festivals of competitive sport in every county - linked to a schools' database to recognise and profile competition results. The first ever finals will be held in the Olympic Park in the run-up to the Games in 2012.

The new competitions will be supported by Lottery funding of up to £10m per year. The Department of Health is also providing up to £14 million over the next two years to support levels of participation in the Games by primary schools.

Department of Health