Join campaign to “Inspire a generation”

Janet Downs's picture
Inserted by Janet Downs on behalf of an 11-year-old who had difficulties uploaded the story.

“I have been inspired this year after the Olympics to get more involved in sports and to achieve my dream of being an Olympic athlete.

The motto of 2012 is “Inspire a generation”. Young people like me have ambition to achieve in sports but sometimes we are held back by not being able to train and practise.

First News, a children’s newspaper with a million readers, has asked for as many signatures as possible on a petition asking the Government for free membership for all Under 16s at a sports centre of their choice.

To turn the Olympic 2012 motto into reality, please sign the petition.”

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Rebecca Hanson's picture
Wed, 15/08/2012 - 18:23

While free club membership would be lovely, the truth is that primary school children need the support and encouragement of an adult to motivate them and to help them get to out of school activities.

In school and after school activities are great because they are so easy to access and the bond children create with the teacher involved positively influences their whole school experience. The complexity of getting children to events is more easily overcome for single parents and those with few resources if the child is attending them with their school friends and is in the care of a teacher who has an ongoing relationship with the child's parent(s). However getting them to a specialist club, kitting the child out and encouraging the child through the dark times is often beyond the capability of our most vulnerable families who are often parenting the children who would benefit most from such and experience. If you are a single parent of three young children and you have no car, how do you get one of your children to evening meetings? How do you justify the expense of travel and kitting them out if it means your other children miss out?

One of my passions is that we should 're-connect' society. We should try and use our primary schools as hubs to link parents (maybe typically empty nesters whose children used to go to the school) with parents who are struggling to offer support such as visiting once a week to mentor an individual child and make sure they are doing their homework, or perhaps sponsoring them to attend a club and also supporting them with transport and so on.

It's a shame 'the big society' was electioneering propaganda which would die a death in the hands of Tories who have no idea what society is and how to stop suffocating it, let alone how to empower it.

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