Brent: Campaigners fury at low sports uptake

SPORTS campaigners have urged schools to do more to get students exercising after new figures revealed that thousands of pupils are ditching sport at secondary school.

SPORTS campaigners have urged schools to do more to get students exercising after new figures revealed that thousands of pupils are ditching sport at secondary school.

Only six per cent of Brent sixth form students do the recommended two hours of exercise in every school week, according to figures released by the Department for Education last week.

Connie Henry, director of Track Academy, a Willesden based athletics club which works with Brent schools, said: “These figures are really shocking, although in my experience the success children have in sport and other physical activities is dependent on the infrastructure of their PE department.

“Forward thinking departments who are willing to embrace new projects have better success. Schools that get involved with community sports projects, and think more laterally, do better.”


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The figures show that 73 per cent of school students aged five to 11 take part in two hours of exercise a week – the joint second lowest in London.

This figure plummets to just six per cent when pupils hit sixth form.

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Ms Henry says that the figures show that thousands of students are missing out on the self confidence playing sport brings.

She said: “There can be too much focus on doing exercise purely as a means to losing weight. We use physical fitness and athletics mainly as a tool to create self confidence.

“Thousands of teenagers are missing out on the sense of achievement and self confidence participation in sport brings.”

The research come just months after the Times reported on a council health select committee presentation which warned of rising levels of obesity.

During the presentation, health chiefs warned that socially deprived areas including Harlesden, Stonebridge, Kilburn and Willesden were most severely affected by poor health.

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