Ahead of ‘National School Sport Week at Home’ this Monday 22nd June, the LTA have announced that double Paralympic medallist Lucy Shuker has been appointed ‘National School Sport Champion’ for tennis.
In partnership with children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, Lucy will join a group of international athletes from other sports such as cricket, football and golf, who will use their voice and public profile to reinforce the importance of physical education and school sport to young people and communities.
Current data shows one third of children are active for less than 30 minutes a day. The LTA – who launched the primary school strand of their LTA Youth programme earlier this year – have been campaigning for greater priority to be given to PE and sport in schools, so that all children can be active for an average of 60 minutes a day, in line with the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation for 5 -16 year olds.
Lucy will be part of a ‘National Team’ of athletes who will champion the vision that every young person is able to enjoy the life changing physical and mental health benefits, social development and resilience that come from play, physical education and sport. Already in great company, Lucy will join the likes of Dame Kelly Holmes – who was appointed the first ever ‘National School Sport Champion’ in 2008.
As part of her role, Lucy will be supporting Youth Sport Trust’s ‘National School Sport Week at Home’ next week – helping young people and families up and down the country engage in a week of virtual sporting challenges from their home. The role will also see Lucy visiting schools and community groups throughout the rest of the year, to inspire and motivate young people to get involved in sport and physical activity.
Speaking about her involvement, Lucy commented: “I’m incredibly honoured to have been asked to become National School Sport Champion for tennis by the LTA. I feel extremely passionate about young people being active and reaping the benefits that go with that. Both before my accident and ever since, sport has played an important part in my life and I believe I can help to encourage more young people to get active and try different sports through sharing my own experiences. After my accident, sport enabled me to better discover what I was still able to do, push my limits, as well as become physically stronger which in turn, helped me to cope better on a daily basis with my disability.
“I feel proud that I am now in a position where I can use my experiences to help inspire future generations to take part in physical activity, whatever that might be. Sport is such an invaluable learning environment and has so many proven physical and mental benefits, it’s such an amazing feeling to see children giving any sport a go and hearing and seeing the fun they experience. We are a sporting nation and we must continue to inspire young people to take part in sport to continue to develop future champions who in turn will inspire future generations.”
Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver added: “We are thrilled that Lucy has been appointed ‘National School Sport Champion’. Sport has such a crucial role to play in promoting young people’s wellbeing and this has never been more apparent than it is now. We look forward to working with the LTA and Lucy to help more young people and communities across the UK enjoy the life changing benefits that come from sport and Physical Education.”
Courtesy of the LTA