State schools need more time for sport says Ben
Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has called for schools to dedicate more time to sport.
Four-time gold medal winner Ainslie believes that the national curriculum should allow more time for pupils to practise time-consuming sports, such as sailing.
He was talking after completing a "lap of honour" on the Thames, where hundreds of people watched in amazement as the Olympic Finn-class champion performed turns and stunts beneath Tower Bridge.
"There should be an afternoon put aside… for sports like sailing, where it takes a bit more time," he said.
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"A lot of private schools do this, but it's not in the national curriculum."
Having an hour at a time set aside for physical education meant that children could only really take part in sports on the school field or in the gym, he said. Instead, state schools should be encouraged to teach sports such as sailing or climbing which cannot always be done near a school.
This disparity was recently reflected in the ratio of independent to state school-educated medal winners at London 2012. Despite educating a mere 7% of children nationally, 37% of medal winners attended fee-paying schools.
Ainslie did, however, see room for optimism in the wake of the fantastically successful London games.
"I know personally that the Government is right behind school sports," he said.
"It's great to hear David Cameron commit to four years of funding."
Ainslie's Finn-class boat Rita, with which he has won three of his four gold medals, will shortly be put on display in the National Maritime museum in Falmouth.
The boat is expected to return within the next couple of weeks and will be displayed alongside her laser companion until the end of the year, when both will be strung up as part of the museum's flotilla of 'flying' boats.
Ben Lumby, exhibitions manager at the Maritime Museum, said: "We're here to celebrate the sea, boats and Cornwall and what better story to tell than that of Ben and Rita".