UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, courtesy of the Telegraph.
In an effort to ensure that the 2012 Paralympic Games in London leaves a lasting impact on the lives of Britons with disabilities, the United Kingdom’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced a plan to promote youth disability sport even in the face of huge cuts in school sports funding. Hunt tells the Telegraph: “For the first time, we will measure participation rates of young children in competitive sport as we did with adults. This will provide a baseline picture of exactly how many young children are taking part in competitive sport and help us level the playing field so that disabled children have the same access to competitive school sport as everyone else. We will aim to double the number of young pupils with disabilities competing in the first School Games national finals in May 2012 from the last UK School Games, where 100 disabled students participated in athletics, swimming and table tennis.”
As part of the plan, the Ministry of Culture has identified 50 trailblazing schools that can serve as models enhancing sports opportunities for youth with disabilities. Currently 6,000 schools, or around 30% of all schools in Britain, have signed on to Hunt’s initiative. We are glad to see that the British government recognizes that all of its citizens deserve access to athletic programs, and that it continues to find ways to implement these programs even in the face of declining revenues and austerity measures.