Olympics 'dominated by privately educated'
Published: 3rd Aug 2012 10:57:53
Too many of Britain's top sportsmen and women were educated privately, the country's Olympic chief has said.
Lord Moynihan said it was wholly unacceptable that more than 50% of medallists at the Beijing Olympics came from independent schools.
He described it as one of the "worst statistics in British sport".
He said it meant half of Great Britain's medals came from just 7% of the population who are privately educated.
Chairman of the British Olympic Association Lord Moynihan called for an urgent overhaul of school sport policy, saying private school dominance of sports was "wholly unacceptable".
He said: "There is so much talent out there in the 93% that should be identified and developed.
"That has got to be a priority for future sports policy. I have spoken about it many times and I will continue to speak about it until there is not breath left in me."
Lord Moynihan said Olympic sport should aim to have the same ratio of state to private school pupils as football.
"Football is different, it is an interesting example. The balance of professional football is that around 7% of players come from the private sector, which is an absolute mirror image of society.
"That should be the case in every single sport and that should be the priority in each and every sport and that is something that every government should strive for. The way you do it is you focus on a sports policy that is primarily geared to providing a sporting opportunity."
Around 7% of children in the country are privately educated, but at the last Olympics one third of Team GB went to independent schools, nearly 40% of British medal winners, and 50% of gold medallists.
They included multiple gold medallists Sir Chris Hoy, a product of George Watson's College in Edinburgh and Ben Ainslie, who went to Truro School in Cornwall, and every single one of the equestrian medallists.
Private schools can usually afford to devote more time to sport, and have better facilities and often top-class coaches.
That is especially the case in sports where the basic cost of taking part is high, such as equestrian events and sailing.
Rowing has already taken action to address the imbalance - with Moe Sbihi, who won bronze in the men's eight yesterday, one of the beneficiaries.
A programme was launched more than a decade ago to pick teenagers with the necessary physique from comprehensive schools to become elite rowers.
At this Games, 50% of the rowing team are from state schools.
At 04:29:02 in EnglandA medieval sword possibly taken as a trophy during the Battle of Hastings is due to go under the hammer later.
At 04:16:39 in EnglandAn A-level student who was removed to Mauritius weeks before sitting her exams has said she is "grateful" for all the support she received.
At 03:58:38 in HeadlinesWorkers decommissioning Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have sued its operator Tokyo Electric (Tepco) over unpaid hazard wages.
At 03:11:15 in EnglandScottish Independence would "liberate" the rest of the UK and bring benefits to the North of England, according to the SNP's Christine Grahame.
At 02:48:50 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama is on his way to Estonia for talks on Russia and the Ukraine crisis with Baltic leaders.
At 02:13:35 in BusinessSwiss bank Credit Suisse is investigating two of its traders in London over allegations of misconduct.
At 02:11:35 in ScotlandAs the people of Scotland weigh up how to vote in the independence referendum, they are asking questions on a range of topics.
At 02:10:02 in ScotlandA statue is to be unveiled in Brechin dedicated to Sir Robert Watson-Watt, the pioneer of radar.
At 02:07:07 in HeadlinesThe islands of the Caribbean haven't always been described as "paradise". What does this tell us about both the region and the Eden of people's imagination, asks Carrie Gibson.
At 02:05:36 in ScotlandA fifth of people who have a heart bypass or a stent fitted after a heart attack do not need it, research carried out in Glasgow shows.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Olympics 'dominated by privately educated' [Online] (Updated 3rd Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444325/Olympics-dominated-by-privately-educated [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]
News In Other Categories
A £3.5bn deal for nearly 600 new armoured vehicles will be signed in Caerphilly county ahead of the Nato summit.
The Toronto International Film Festival is set to kick off on Thursday - one of the largest and most prestigious events in the annual film festival calendar.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has urged both sides in the referendum debate to treat each other with respect.
Workers decommissioning Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have sued its operator Tokyo Electric (Tepco) over unpaid hazard wages.
You may not realise it, but every time you open up your laptop or switch on your phone, you are at the heart of one of the greatest battles now taking place in our midst - what shape will the internet take in the future, and what role will anonymity play in deciding it?
A medieval sword possibly taken as a trophy during the Battle of Hastings is due to go under the hammer later.