Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited our Spurs Lodge training ground in Chigwell, Essex today, along with Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham and Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore to launch the ‘Premier League 4 Sport' scheme.
The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been instrumental in helping to design and develop the programme and will play an important part in delivering it.
Our guests were greeted on arrival by Club chairman Daniel Levy, before being guided around demonstrations in badminton, table tennis, judo and volleyball by our manager Harry Redknapp.
Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate, Michael Dawson and Luka Modric took part in the demonstrations, alongside children from Rush Croft School in Chingford and the Vale School Northumberland Park, who were given the opportunity through their work with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
All 20 Premier League clubs will now link up with community sport clubs to help attract young people in their local area and offer them opportunities in these sports through Premier League 4 Sport - a groundbreaking £3.8 million partnership with the Government.
The initiative will help the Government's ambition to offer young people five hours of sport a week, as part of its 2012 legacy plans. It will also address the drop-off in sports participation when young people leave secondary school.
Working with the sports governing bodies, the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England, the Premier League clubs aim to get 25,000 young people, aged between 11 and 16, to join local sport clubs in the four Olympic sports during the three year scheme.
Each Premier League club will be linked to four community sport clubs in their local area which will work in partnership with the football club. The 80 community sport clubs will be linked to four secondary schools in the area creating a total of 320 satellite clubs. Each Premier League club will appoint a project co-ordinator who will manage the scheme locally and work with clubs and school sports departments to maximise opportunities for young people.
The community clubs and schools will benefit from the strength and use of Premier League clubs' brands.
Premier League 4 Sport will build on the success of the Premier League's current community programme and aims to get children from all backgrounds involved in non-traditional, club-based sport.
The Prime Minister said:
"This initiative is great news for young people and communities and will help get thousands more teenagers participating in sports over the next few years, building on our goal to get young people doing five hours of sport a week.
"The Premier League, under Richard Scudamore's leadership, has shown a continuing commitment to community sport and shown how the power of football and strong links with clubs can be used to engage young people and strengthen communities.
"In the run up to 2012, we want to see more young people from all walks of life getting involved in sport. These new clubs are an excellent example of the how the Olympic legacy will benefit people right across the country for years to come and how the Games can be used to inspire more people to get active."
Daniel Levy said:
"We are extremely proud of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the work they do in our community. The Foundation often leads on creating innovative projects that provide life changing opportunities for individuals, which is evident with its involvement in the development of the Premier League 4 Sport initiative."
Andy Burnham said:
"This ground-breaking partnership with the Premier League will use football's unique ability to touch the lives of young people and encourage them to take part in more sport. The clubs' expertise and pulling power will be used to boost participation rates in badminton, judo, volleyball and table tennis - and create a network of sports clubs linked to schools. Once again we are showing how the Olympics can inspire more young people to get active and help deliver the Government's ambition to offer all young people five hours of sport a week."
Richard Scudamore said:
"Premier League clubs are at the heart of their communities, delivering quality projects that tackle a range of important issues. In fact, under the banner of our Creating Chances community initiative, over 1.4 million people took part in the many different activities run by our clubs last season.
"Premier League 4 Sport will build on this existing work, encouraging young people who love football to think about taking up another sport. With the pedigree that our clubs have in delivering projects I am confident it will be a huge success."