A sporting county

Encouraging people to keep fit and healthy is an important part of our role here at Staffordshire County Council.

It was good, therefore, for me to get the chance to meet with Baroness Sue Campbell, Chair of the Youth Sport Trust, at the House of Lords.

Clearly, Staffordshire County Council has a big part to play on the sporting front, not least because of our role around education.

School sport became the subject of much national debate when Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, announced changes to the School Sport Partnership late last year.

I was able to tell Baroness Campbell that here in Staffordshire, we see a bright future and are confident we can get more and more people taking part in sport.

While the School Sport Partnership led to some improvement in participation, the impact was patchy and did not lead to either a significant increase in the number of people enjoying sport in the wider community, or to a greater use of community sports facilities in schools.

Staffordshire County Council sees sport and healthy lifestyles as fundamental.  We plan to take the best bits of the School Sport Partnership and join them up with leisure centres and sports clubs.

 In this way, we believe that we can significantly increase the number of people enjoying sport and providing more players, gymnasts and athletes for the many clubs run by volunteers which actually provide the vast majority of sporting opportunities for Staffordshire residents.

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