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Posted: 23 Apr 2010 | Channels:

Jessica Ennis Launches Campaign To Help Elevate Athletics In UK Schools

World Heptathlon Champion Jessica Ennis, along with UK Athletics Chairman Ed Warner and Olympic gold medallists Sally Gunnell and Darren Campbell join together to launch a new initiative to help put athletics back on the sporting agenda in schools.

The Aviva Elevating Athletics Fund hopes to raise the standards of teaching athletics in schools, and is in direct response to new research released of parents and teachers across the country which reveals:

• Over half of the UK’s PE teachers (54%) feel they need further training to teach athletics effectively
• Nearly two thirds (62%) believe their schools lack the facilities to teach athletics
• Parents across the UK are calling out for a greater emphasis on athletics in schools; with more than half (58%) saying athletics is the sport they would most like their children taught at school – above all other sports, including football.
• Nearly three quarters (72%) of parents believe that an increase in the level of athletics teaching in schools would benefit their children’s ability not only in other sports, but also in developing their coordination skills, team building abilities, and competitive spirit.
• 43% of parents said that athletics made up a much bigger part of the sporting curriculum in their own school days

In response to the research, the fund will provide support in three ways: free places on athletics teaching courses for every school in the UK; a detailed curriculum resource packs for all teachers; and the chance for schools to win a £10,000 sports grant for facility upgrades. A series of elite athlete visits to schools will also be arranged to help inspire students further, as the research also shows that 93% of teachers believe elite sportspeople play a crucial role in inspiring children to get involved in sport.

For more information go to www.avivaathletics.co.uk