Sport

England’s hockey teams tell Sunak and Truss to push team sports in schools

England’s Commonwealth Games medal-winning hockey sides are calling on the government to prioritise team sports in schools and guarantee a minimum two hours’ physical education a week.

The women won an historic first gold medal and the men bronze in Birmingham, and the squads have united to urge the next prime minister not to waste the opportunity their success – and that of the Lionesses winning football’s Euro 2022 – presents. Letters have been sent to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, the two contenders for the Conservative party leadership, stating their desired aims and calling for change.

“We’re now looking to the future. We want to inspire the next generation and make real change in this country,” the letter states. “We want to create more opportunities for children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities to enjoy sport and physical activity.

“To achieve this, we believe the Government should prioritise and promote the importance of team sport. We are committed to a more equal, diverse and inclusive sport, but we cannot achieve this on our own.

“We want to inspire a lifelong participation in sport and physical activity and so we ask you as our future leader to invest in what we believe is a fundamental right for every child in this country.”

Among the measures the players are asking for is for every child to have access to a minimum two hours’ PE and sport a week, PE being a compulsory national curriculum subject with team sports – including hockey – at the core and substantial, targeted investment to improve facilities and the number of PE teachers in primary and secondary schools.

The letter builds on the one sent by the Lionesses in the days after their Wembley triumph when, inspired by the England and Arsenal centre-back Lottie Wubben-Moy, they called on the government to ensure all girls had equal access to football opportunities in schools.

Hollie Pearne Webb, the captain of England women’s gold-medal winning team in Birmingham, added: “During the Games, we spoke about our legacy and goal to inspire a nation. We were inspired by the success of the Lionesses at the Euros, the other team sports at the Games, and we too delivered on behalf of the nation. We’re now looking to the future. We want to inspire the next generation and make real change in this country. We want to create more opportunities for children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities to enjoy sport and physical activity.”

  • Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 300 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at [email protected]

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