Otley cycling star's gran urges change in Government sports policy

Cycling star Lizzie Armitstead with her Grandma Marjorie Dunn

Cycling star Lizzie Armitstead with her Grandma Marjorie Dunn

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THE GRANDMOTHER of Otley cycling star Lizzie Armitstead has slammed the Government for failing to promote sport for the young.

Marjorie Dunn, whose hard-hitting letter on the subject appears in its entirety in this week's newspaper, is herself a keen cyclist and swimmer.

Mrs Dunn criticises the coalition for removing school exercise targets and axing protected sports partnership funding - something she believes will only worsen the nation's obesity problem.

And the Otley resident and Labour supporter is also urging the Government and public alike to consider the findings of a new report and consultation called More Sport for All.

In her letter, she says: "This review by Labour sets out some very topical questions about what we as a country can do to increase participation in sport and physical activity for all children and young people, in all areas - not just for the elite few who can rise to the top in competitive sport, like one of my granddaughters.

"It is well documented that girls and boys’ interest in sport drops off during their teenage years. As the NHS bill for health problems caused by obesity continues to rise, does it not make sense for the Government to invest heavily in sports facilities and activities for all ages, everywhere?

"This would help create jobs in the leisure industry and reduce the long term NHS bill.

"Yet the Lib Dems and Tories got rid of Labour’s target for children to do two hours a week of PE and sport at school, and removed the ring fencing of £162 million for the School Sports Partnerships."

She ends by inviting people to visit yourbritain.org.uk to contribute their ideas about what steps the next government should take to get more people participating in sport.

Lizzie, who won Team GB's first medal of the London 2012 Olympics, was in action last Sunday in the road race at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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