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PM: State Schools Need Culture Change On Sports

Wednesday 8th August 2012

The Prime Minister has admitted to LBC 97.3 sport in schools needs to be improved to capitalise on Team GB's olympic success.

Sir Chris Hoy's won an historic sixth cycling gold medal taking Great Britain's gold tally to 22. David Cameron told Nick Ferrari that improving sport for children needs a change of culture in state schools.

Reports had suggested that the government has sold more than 20 school playing fields since the coalition took office and CEO of Sports Aid Tim Lawler told us state school pupils need to be given the same chances as those in private education.

But Mr Cameron denied that the coalition has sold off playing fields, saying: "It was a mistake that playing fields were sold in the past. They're not being sold any more.

"What we need is a combination of maintaining the playing fields, making sure the money's going in and asking schools to all do their bit in terms of sport.

"But then we need a cultural change - a cultural change in favour of competitive sport.

"If we want to have a great sporting legacy for our children - and I do - we have got to have an answer that brings the whole of society together to crack this, more competition, more competitiveness, more getting rid of the idea all must win prizes and you can't have competitive sports days.

"We need a big cultural change - a cultural change in favour of competitive sports. That's what I think really matters."

"I had a privileged upbringing and the reason why aged 7, 8, 9, 10, I got into cricket, football and rugby is that I had teachers, who as well as teaching different subjects, gave up their time to go and coach sport and coach children."

He also revealed the Olympics has left a legacy for his own family - his son now wants to be known as "Elwyn Wiggins".

Mr Cameron also said that there is a "fundamental disagreement" between himself and Nick Clegg.

The Prime Minister was speaking after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed he would instruct Liberal Democrat MPs to vote against the proposed boundary changes in revenge for the shelving of Lords Reform.

Speaking live in the LBC 97.3 studio to Nick Ferrari, Mr Cameron insisted that, despite this, he still had a good relationship with Mr Clegg. He said: "We are leaders of two different parties - we often don't agree - we can't hide that. There will be arguments and disagreements.

"This disagreement won't get in the way of getting on with what really matters - getting our economy moving and in spite of that disagreement, the coalition government will work and work hard to deliver what people really want and need in this country."

Asked whether he would prefer Clegg or Boris Johnson as his double skulls partner, the prime minister sided with the Mayor of London for reasons of "weight and strength".

Listen to David Cameron being put on the spot by a cancer sufferer

Listen to the full interview below.