Tom Blenkinsop MP, today (7th August) criticised the Tory Education Secretary, Michael Gove, as it was revealed that since the formation of the Coalition he has disposed of more than 20 school playing fields and sales continue.
This comes despite a pledge to protect pitches from development and even in the coalition agreement ministers stated they would “seek to protect school playing fields”.
“This is devastating news for youngsters who have been inspired to get active in sports by Team GB and Gove is seriously harming the prospects of future athletes if he continues on this path. These actions combined with Gove’s previous decision to slash the funding for School Sports Partnerships to £65m a year for sport – which will not be ringfenced from 2013 – raises serious questions about this Governments commitment to building a positive Olympic legacy.
“It’s well documented that sustained investment is bringing glory for Team GB and this is particularly evident in the cycling team, a legacy from the velodrome in Manchester which directly influenced Gold medallist Jason Kennedy when he visited with his school aged just 11. If children want to take part in sports only to find that the facilities aren’t available to replicate their heroes then the Government is failing.”