Soft Drinks Industry Levy: Funding for Sport in Schools — [Sir David Amess in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 10th January 2017.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon 2:30 pm, 10th January 2017

I absolutely pay tribute to teachers, parents and people in the local community who are prepared to give up their own time to provide constructive activities for young people. I want the Government to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit that Mark Draycott showed so that others can set up their own holiday camps and there are regular, good and exciting opportunities for young people.

In conclusion, I urge the Government to seize this opportunity. It is not often that a Department is given a significant increase in funding. I know from my time as a Minister that it is normally a case of wondering how on earth we can find money to do all of the worthy things we would like to do. However, this is an opportunity to benefit children by making them more active and therefore less obese, and to improve their academic achievement, because there is a direct link between those who are active and their ability to progress academically. It will also be a welcome blessing for hard-working, busy parents, whose biggest challenge is often what to do with children after school, during the long school holidays and at weekends. This offers the opportunity to deliver those long-term, sustainable solutions. I want every child to have as much fun as those children who go to the Draycott sports camp, and now is the time we can make that a reality.