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- 15 October 2014 00:00
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Over 600 primary schools across England are set to receive an £18 million boost for to revamp their playgrounds.
Woodhill Primary School in London was the first school in the capital to receive some of the £18 million funding from Sport England’s Primary Spaces fund to transform its playground into a useful space for PE and sport.
The London school received £30,000 for a new multi-sport outdoor area with Britain’s Olympic and World 400 metre champion Christine Ohuruogu on hand to celebrate the unveiling o the facility.
"It’s fantastic to be here for the opening of this new facility that is going to make a big difference to the children at Woodhill Primary,” said Ohuruogu.
"Having the chance to run around and be active with your friends at school is an important part of growing up and it’s great that Sport England is investing in 601 schools to make it a reality for thousands of children across England.”
The new facilities at Woodhilll Primary, which include a traversing bouldering wall, a net and hoop, and new surfacing and court markings, will be a massive boost to PE and physical activity at the school, allowing them to increase PE curriculum time.
"When launching this fund, we knew there were currently many primary schools that had little or no suitable outdoor space for PE or sport, making it difficult for teachers to deliver exciting and engaging lessons,” said Sport England Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper.
"That is why this funding is so important because it gives young people the right places to play sport and be physically active which is crucial to their development.
The new facilities - which the school also put money towards - will also allow the school to offer free or low cost sports activities out of curriculum time, at weekends and at holiday clubs for children, providing them with areas to play safely and engage in health enhancing activities.
Across England, 601 primary schools are improving their outdoor facilities and creating new places to play.
The first 100 projects began this summer with a large number of schools and children already enjoying their newly enhanced outdoor facility.
The funding for the new facilities was announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year to complement the work of the Primary PE & Sport Premium.
"This multi-million pound funding will help transform PE lessons for young people by turning hundreds of concrete playgrounds into great sports facilities,” said Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson.
"As part of our plan to prepare young people for life in modern Britain, we want all children to get involved in sport as it can help instill confidence, discipline and determination.
"Through this scheme – and more than £150 million of ring-fenced PE and Sport Premium funding which we’re giving to primary schools – we are helping children develop a sporting habit for life.”
Sport England has run the Primary Spaces fund in partnership with the Department for Education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Health, and with the support of the Association for Physical Education, the Youth Sport Trust and the County Sports Partnership Network, ensuring joined up working across Government and the sport and physical activity sector.