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Tuesday, 26 September, 2000, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
School sport's golden goal
Children's athletics
Sports tracks will be built with an extra 750m
The next generation of Olympic athletes is to be encouraged with the announcement of extra investment in school sport.

The Prime Minister Tony Blair, speaking at the Labour Party's annual conference in Brighton, pledged an extra 750m of lottery money to upgrade school and community sports facilities.


It is not just a sports policy, it is a health policy and an education policy, an anti-crime policy and an anti-drugs policy

Prime Minister Tony Blair

This will mean funding for thousands of new sports halls, athletics tracks, synthetic pitches, indoor and outdoor cricket training facilities, rugby and football pitches.

The government wants to support grass-roots schemes which will help develop sport in schools, but which will also provide facilities which can be shared by the local community.

In particular, it is expected that the new facilities will be targeted at deprived, inner-city areas which are lacking in opportunities for sport.

"It is not just a sports policy, it is a health policy and education policy, an anti-crime policy and an anti-drugs policy," said Mr Blair.

Sport in schools was given extra support in another section of the Labour leader's keynote speech - with the announcement of the extension of the specialist schools scheme and additional funding of 28m.

Specialist sports schools will be among the extra 200 announced, which by 2004 will mean that more than one in four secondary schools in England will have specialist status.

These will have advanced teaching and additional facilities to set up centres of excellence in sport, technology, modern languages and the arts.

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See also:

05 Oct 99 | Education
School sport a 'top priority'
22 Nov 99 | Education
School sport is 'uncool'
11 Jan 00 | Education
Inspectors to focus on school sport
05 Apr 00 | Education
School sport goes for gold
26 Sep 00 | Labour
Blair pledges to make amends
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