Uttlesford primary schools to receive £300k Olympic legacy boost


- Credit: Archant

Primary schools across the district are on course to receive more than £300,000 over the next few weeks, as part of the ongoing Olympic Legacy to keep children on the move.

The ring-fenced central government grant will give Uttlesford’s 36 state-funded primary schools between £8,000 - £10,000 to be spent on sports-related expenses over the current academic year, the second of three promised years of government grants following the London Olympics in 2012.

Wimbish Primary School head-teacher Christine Spain said certain improvements to children’s health and activity would simply not be possible without this funding.

“With last year’s money, we brought in a sports coach and they provided lessons in the school, as well as an afternoon club,” she said. “We’ve done things such as improving the play area, so that there are more available resources at play times. We have boards that children can bounce their balls so they have something to do, even if they’re playing on their own.

“We’ve updated our equipment too. As a small school, we want to encourage fixtures with other schools by travelling, and the money has enabled us to do that.

“We’ve also been trying new sports, as well as making more popular sports teaching better. That means that more children are encouraged to stay active. We want to encourage sport for everyone,” said Ms Spain, adding this year’s money would be used to help better organise swimming lessons, which currently all take place at Dame Bradbury’s Leisure Centre.

The grant will benefit primary schools across the area, including those in Saffron Walden, Ashdon, Clavering and Great Sampford.

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All schools should be allocated the first of two instalments of the grant by the beginning of December this year.

“As part of our plan for education, we want all children to get into the habit of playing and enjoying sport in primary school as it can help instil confidence, discipline and determination,” said Minister for Children and Families Edward Timpson.

“Thanks to our PE and Sports Premium, primary schools are offering more and better quality sport programmes – and this funding boost will help headteachers go further.

“Whether a child is a potential future Olympic champion or a keen amateur like me – I want them all to be given the chance to fulfil their sporting potential,” he added.