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- 17 July 2014 00:00
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Schools across Wales have received a major boost after hundreds across the country were recognised for their high standards in PE.
The boost comes with Sport Wales and the Association for Physical Education (afPE) recognising the schools that are providing the highest quality PE and school sport through ActiveMark Cymru, which all Welsh schools can apply for.
This academic year, 110 schools from across Wales have passed with flying colours, making a total of 501 schools to have achieved the award since 2008.
ActiveMark Cymru recognises schools that are committed to developing high quality PE and school sport and to promoting the benefits of physical activity.
"We believe that schools play an essential role in building a Wales in which children are hooked on sport for life,” said the Chair of Sport Wales Professor Laura McAllister.
"We know the importance of being active to the future life chances of a young person, and that schools are central to providing every child with the physical skills and confidence to take part and enjoy.
"It is important that young people have positive early experiences of sport and physical activity that build a foundation for lifelong involvement in sport.
"Since ActiveMark has been in place it has recognised those schools that are giving our children an excellent start and can demonstrate to pupils and parents that sport plays an important role in school life."
The afPE strategic lead Sue Wilkinson highlighted the importance of giving physical education prominence in schools.
"There is strong evidence that children who receive high quality physical education within curriculum time, build a firm basis for future participation and healthy active life styles.
"It is good to see that schools which make high quality provision for physical education also report higher achievement across the school, in other subjects, but also improved behaviour, attendance and health and emotional well-being.
"Physical education in schools is a great investment in our young people and a true legacy."
In the next Academic year, Welsh schools can apply for a new UK recognised quality award.
The AfPE UK Quality Mark process will be similar to ActiveMark, particularly with a focus on self-evaluation.