'Don't lose inspiration of the 2012 Olympics' warns Park House head
Speaking almost a year since the games gripped the nation, Mr Peaple warned that without a solid infrastructure and continued funding, the Olympic Legacy would “rapidly and significantly diminish”.
Earlier this year, Mr Peaple submitted evidence to the Government expressing his concerns over its plan to scrap funding for School Sports Co-ordinators by 2015.
He warned that the momentum and enthusiasm created by the Olympics would “recede into the middle distance and a unique window of opportunity will close”.
The government has since introduced ‘primary school premiums’ in response to Mr Peaple’s evidence, something which will see every primary school awarded between £8,500 and £9,500 on improving sports.
Speaking this week to the Newbury Weekly News, Mr Peaple, who is also Chair of the Berkshire School Games Local Organising Committee, said he was pleased steps had been taken but wanted to see funding extended beyond 2015.
He said: “What these primary school premiums have done is re-open the window of opportunity that looked like it was going to be closed.
“We were in real danger of losing that legacy. We all remember those golden moments from the games and it is essential that we don’t lose that passion and enthusiasm.
“The primary schools premium funding is in the form of ring-fenced grants. What would be great to see is that extended past 2015 and through to Rio 2016 and beyond.”
An Ofsted report for Park House School in 2012, noted how “students engage enthusiastically in the school’s promotion of the Olympic and Paralympic values showing respect, friendship and pursuit of excellence”.
The school, which boasts England rugby stars Tom Croft and Jonathan Joseph as former pupils, has since become the first in the country to officially receive the ‘inspired by 2012’ brand, awarded in recognition of their “outstanding initiatives which embrace the spirit and values of the Olympics and Paralympics”.
Mr Peaple said: “'We are proud and thrilled to receive this brand which captures the spirit of the 2012 Games and the commitment to inspire a generation of young people.”
As part of their recognition and to mark the year anniversary of the games, the school will be holding a Summer Athletics Legacy Academy next month.
The event, which has been endorsed by Dame Kelly Holmes and Denise Lewis, will take place at the Crookham Common Athletics Track and Park House School from August 12 to August 16 from 9.15am until 4pm.
It is open to anyone aged between 8 and 18 and is designed to improve performance by developing speed, strength, fitness, technique and agility.
The school are also using the inspiration of 2012 to create a ‘three-legged legacy’, three distinctive but connected strands of activity embracing sports performance, sports participation and the wider educational relevance of the excitement generated by the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
To book a place on the Summer Athletics Legacy Academy, visit http://www.performancerunning.co.uk/Assets/Summer-Athletics-Legacy-Academy-Newbury-2013.pdf and print off the booking form.