Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Newry MLA seeks additional sport in schools

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Monday, July 20th, 2020

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has called on the Department of Education to consider introducing a PE and Sport Premium programme in schools here similar to that announced by UK Education Minister Gavin Williamson recently.


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Speaking to Newry Times, Mr McNulty said, “UK Education Minister Gavin Williamson announced a £320million package of support for schools in England which will guarantee children 60 minutes of sport and physical education each day. 



“I want to see Peter Weir follow suit.

“I have asked if there is now additional money due to the north for such a programme following Minister Williamson’s announcement.

“Sport and physical activity is an important part of the school’s curriculum,” he insisted. 



“It is much more than getting out from behind a desk and enjoying yourself. 

“It builds healthy individuals; it builds character and an understanding of a healthy lifestyle and can give children and young people a strong emotional and mental health foundation.

“We need to make Sport and Physical Education a cornerstone of our Educational Recovery plan as children come back to school in the Autumn.



“Good physical health sits neatly alongside good mental and emotional health and wellbeing. 

McNulty continued, “We need to be aware of the unintended consequences of children being out of school for six months and the emotional impact it will have as they return to the classroom after such a long period out of school. 

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“I hope Minister Weir will follow Minister Williamson’s example and make sport and Physical Education in schools a priority in the time ahead,” he added.


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