Sports colleges essential says Seb Coe

PUBLISHED: 12:45 06 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 06 May 2010

Lord Coe

Lord Coe

SPORTS colleges like Knights Templar School in Baldock are essential to Britain s hopes of success at the London 2012 Olympic Games. That s the view of running legend Sebastian Coe. He believes schools with this specialism, and the school sport partners

SPORTS colleges like Knights Templar School in Baldock are "essential" to Britain's hopes of success at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

That's the view of running legend Sebastian Coe.

He believes schools with this specialism, and the school sport partnerships they lead, will play a key role in turning today's talented youngsters into future sporting champions.

The double Olympic gold medallist, whose influence was critical in bringing the Games to London, was speaking prior to the Youth Sport Trust's annual Sports Colleges Conference at the end of last week where he gave a keynote address.

Lord Coe said: "More than ever before, sports colleges which have a real specialist knowledge, a critical mass of coaching skills, sports science skills and the ability to communicate the passion of sport to young people will be absolutely essential in identifying and nurturing talent through the six-year cycle between now and the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in London in 2012."

Peter Chapman, headteacher at Knights Templar, said: "Being a specialist sports college gives us the opportunity to offer all our young people the chance to develop their academic and sporting talents to the full - and maybe become an Olympic champion in 2012."

As well as helping to develop a new breed of athletes, coaches and leaders, the country's 358 sports colleges provide opportunities for young volunteers, who will be vital cogs in London's plans for hosting the Games.

Another keynote address at the conference was given by education secretary Ruth Kelly who said: "I've been impressed at how sports colleges can use their expertise to raise standards and boost sport participation in and outside their school.

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