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Starmer promises to leverage his national pride to deliver new sporting stars

Vaseline 2 months ago

Britain must harness its ‘national pride’ to produce the next generation of sports stars, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Labor leader declared that “patriotism is a force for good” and is crucial to getting children active, as he pledged to create a level playing field for aspiring young athletes.

In his speech ahead of St George’s Day on Tuesday, he said sporting pride “runs deep in the psyche of the country” and is “a cornerstone of our national life”.

But he said that under the Tories, children are being “left out of emulating their heroes”, with “a widening access gap between state and private schools, girls and boys, and a damaging drop in PE hours”.

It comes after Sir Keir said Labor will not shy away from flying the St George flag.

Writing for The Telegraph, he said he was “proud” to be English and that his party would mark England’s patron saint’s day “with enthusiasm”.

It represents a bold attempt to outmaneuver the Conservatives on the issue of national identity, and a rebuke to those in his own party who have criticized Labour’s use of patriotic symbols in its campaigns.

Labor said Sir Keir’s “full support of promoting patriotic values” marked a “significant change from previous party leaders”, in an apparent swipe at Jeremy Corbyn, who was criticized for not singing the national anthem at a Battle commemoration ceremony of Britain. in 2015.

Drawing on his own passion for football, Sir Keir said: “I fell in love with football at an early age and look back fondly on the hours I spent with a ball at my feet, bouncing from pitch to pitch with my friends .

“Like countless others, it has boosted my self-confidence and shaped my identity. But many young people now don’t have that same opportunity.

“That’s why my Labor Party will ensure every child has the opportunity to be active in school and reform the curriculum to strengthen access to PE, sport and the arts.

“We need to increase access for the next generation because if playing team sports is reserved for a handful of children, we will simply miss out on the talents of so many.

“Only by harnessing our pride and patriotism can we reverse this damaging decline, develop the talent of future stars and strengthen national pride in sport for years to come.”

support England

On Monday, the Labor leader will host a shadow cabinet meeting at a location ‘deep in the English countryside’ where frontbenchers will discuss the importance of supporting English industry and business, from steelworks in Scunthorpe to gaming in Leamington Spa and aerospace engineering in Bristol. .

Speaking before the meeting, he said: “The pride we feel in our sporting heroes and national teams runs deep in the psyche of the country.

“It shapes our identity and is a cornerstone of our national life, and our national teams exemplify so much of what it means to English.

“When I speak to young people across the country, the confidence, pride and patriotism that comes with the national sport is evident for all to see. And that patriotism is a positive force in English sport.

“But young people are excluded from emulating their heroes. With a widening access gap between state and private schools, girls and boys, and a damaging decline in PE hours, countless children are being left out of finding their passion under this government.”

Labor said the number of PE hours taught has fallen by 5,000 in the past year alone, contributing to an overall decline of 45,000 since November 2010.

It also found that there is a “gap” in participation between students and state and private schools, which has “widened rapidly” over the past six years.

Meanwhile, the party said girls are still three times less likely than boys to participate in high school football, and are half as likely to say they feel confident playing sport.

Labor has pledged to provide equal access to sport at school and reform the curriculum to ensure children in state education do not miss out on PE.