POSTED: May 5th 2011

Triathlon survey backs Rogge concern about computer games generation

IOC president Jacques Rogge / lake images
IOC president Jacques Rogge / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, May 05: The extent of the challenge facing sport in general - including very particularly the Olympic movement - has been set out in a British Triathlon survey suggesting that a generation of British children are turning their backs on sport and physical activity.

The results underscore the concerns expressed regularly by Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, about the urgent need for the sports movement to step up its efforts in reconnecting with the youth of the world - for their own sake as much as for the sake of sport.

Results from the poll, among children aged between six and 15, organised for British Triathlon and Tata Steel claimed 10pc cannot ride a bicycle, 15pc cannot swim and a quarter (22pc) had never run a distance of 400m. However, three quarters (77pc) had a computer-games console and 68pc had a mobile phone of their own.

In the week before the poll was conducted in March, just 46pc wh owned bicycles had ridden them and 34pc of the swimmers had swam the length of a pool - but 73pc had played a video game.

The survey was carried out to launch this year's Tata Kids of Steel triathlon series. The scheme, launched in 2007, gives children the chance to compete in mini-triathlons (swimming, cycling and running)  for free - with all the relevant equipment provided - in 18 venues across the United Kingdom.

Zara Hyde Peters, chief executive of British Triathlon, said: "We're passionate about creating opportunities for young people to discover how much fun the triathlon challenge is. With the [London] Olympics just around the corner, there's no better time to be inspiring youth participation in our sport."

Keywords · British Triathlon · Rogge · IOC · computer games

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