Headlines: July 1st, 2005

Local partnerships that aim to provide sporting and recreation facilities
outside school hours and to motivate young people through physical exercise are
to share more than seven million pounds of funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
The money will go to 82 School Sport Co-ordinator projects in England as part of
the more than 20 million pound Young People’s Fund.

The local sport partnerships aim to motivate young people and to improve their
health and self-esteem by building sporting and social skills in team
activities. The Lottery Fund believes they are of particular benefit to children
who need encouragement to participate, including those in danger of exclusion
from school or those with special needs. Many of the successful projects have
come up with ways to tackle obesity and devised innovative and exciting
challenges for young participants in outdoor activities.

The largest number of grants – 14 each – goes to the East and West Midlands
Regions, worth nearly 2.5 million pounds in total. Thirteen more grants go to
the East and 11 to the South East.

Examples of projects to benefit include the Get Active School Sport Partnership
in Doncaster, which gets just over 94,000 pounds and aims to benefit more than
2,000 young people in the town and surrounding areas. The partnership will work
with a number of local service providers. The Chester-le-Street Partnership,
one of only two grant recipients in the North East of England, is to get more
than 56,000 for its activities based at Roseberry Sports and Community College,
including playground activities, gymnastics, dance, martial arts and fitness
clubs.

Sir Clive Booth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said there had been extensive
consultation with young people themselves on the design of many of the projects,
which he believed would raise high levels of enthusiasm and motivation among
participants. “These exciting new challenges put young people in areas they have
not experienced before. Local partnerships across the country expect to see
increased performance both outside and inside the classroom as a result,” he
said.