Funding cuts could hit school sports

PUBLISHED: 12:12 17 November 2010

FUNDING cuts to a school sports programme could see thousands of children denied the chance to take part in competitive sport.

FUNDING cuts to a school sports programme could see thousands of children denied the chance to take part in competitive sport.

The Government has announced it can no longer find the £300,000 needed to fund the School Sports Partnership (SSP) based in Witchford, which involves almost 20,000 pupils.

Di Baker, the SSP’s development manager, said: “We expected a massive cut in our budget but we didn’t believe it would be everything, especially in the years before the Olympics.

“I strongly believe the work we have done over the last few years is invaluable to the development of young people, not only in their physical skills but also the impact it has on their confidence, self-esteem and their attainment in other curricular areas.”

Mrs Baker also said that nine jobs dependant on the funding could be at risk.

The Witchford-based SSP caters for thousands of pupils at seven secondary schools and 51 primary schools in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland and provides inter-school competitions and tournaments, as well as skills programmes.

The SSP, one of five in Cambridgeshire, offers out of school learning and training and provides close links between local sports clubs and school pupils.

The team will have to look at alternative forms of funding to help keep the programme going and Mrs Baker said nothing was being ruled out, including approaching businesses and schools.

She said the SSP would continue to host events planned but admitted that some events may have to be cancelled if they do not receive funding still owed for the 2010/11 programme.

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