Whitgift Students Tackle Prime Minister and Lord Coe on New £150m Sports Initiative
By Rahmon, Year 11
Two Whitgift pupils – BBC News School Reporters David, aged 13, and Rahmon, aged 15 – were given the opportunity to interview Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe – the man who delivered the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Prime Minister David Cameron has told Whitgift pupils that his school sport strategy will ensure a long-lasting legacy after the Olympics. Together with Lord Sebastian Coe, he announced a new initiative to pump £150 million into primary school sport.
Whitgift pupils attended the press conference, and had the opportunity to quiz the Prime Minister and Lord Coe in an interview immediately after the event. Watch the BBC video of the interview with the Prime Minister and Lord Coe here.
The strategy follows an outcry when the government made £162 million worth of cuts to sports funding after the Olympics. Pressure mounted on them to invest more money in school sport and support the Olympic legacy that they promised.
When asked by Whitgift reporter Rahmon whether the scheme could really ensure a long lasting legacy, the Prime Minister said: “I really think it will ensure a long-lasting legacy. In the end you can talk all you like and set all the targets you like about school sport, but you've got to have teachers that have got the passion to teach sport in our schools.”
The funding aims to employ specialist teachers in primary schools over the next two years and is supported by big sports organisations such as the FA and the RFU. The government hopes that their input will improve the standard of sports in primary schools and encourage enthusiasm in sports from more young people.
However, some argue that this funding has come a little too late and that the novelty of the Olympic Games has worn off for young people. When questioned by David about why the funding had only begun now, David Cameron defended the timing and said that the Olympics had only finished 20 weeks ago and that “within 20 weeks of the closing ceremony” was “not too bad.” Furthermore, Lord Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympics and Paralympics legacy ambassador was challenged about what the government could do for children who are less sporty and weren’t inspired by the Olympics. Lord Coe ensured that there were “many opportunities beyond sport” and that there was a Cultural Olympiad in which “lots of young people were involved with.”
When challenged about whether he thought the Olympics had stretched far enough across the country he said: “It was absolutely essential that these were an Olympic Games for the whole country. Seven years ago we were really clear about the need for this not to be a discussion about London, but the opportunity to drive legacy into communities across the country and in large part that's happened. 700,000 more people are now playing sport and they're not all doing in London, they're doing it around the country.”
It was a wet and windy day and the weather was certainly not delightful but it was totally worth it as this breaking news story gave a lot of information about school sport in the future and how the government plans to continue the Olympic legacy.
Both David Cameron and Lord Coe seemed to enjoy playing rugby with primary school students at Millwall Rugby Club and it was the perfect way to start off careers in journalism for the two Whitgift students.