Some 10,000 volunteer sports coaches are to be recruited by the government to teach new skills to youngsters.
Mr Purnell says the government needs to tap into Britain's talent
Culture Secretary James Purnell said the campaign to get more children involved in sport would also be boosted by the London Olympics in 2012.
"The Olympics will be the greatest recruiting sergeant for sport ever seen in this country," he told the Labour party conference in Bournemouth.
He said 3,000 new professional coaches would also teach in schools and clubs.
It was the government's job to tap into hidden talent, Mr Purnell said.
"When children pick up a racket for the first time, I want someone expert alongside them," he told delegates.
"When a child is inspired by the Olympics to try athletics, I want someone who has been trained to be there to train them."