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August 23rd, 2007

Contrary to popular belief, far from being couch potatoes, a surprisingly high proportion of youngsters play sport out of school and would like to do more when they are older, according to a report out today.

Most youngsters (68%) play games during their lunch breaks, and 88% say they regularly include sport and leisure in their out of school activities.

The study was carried out for Visa UK, a sponsor of the UK School Games, which start in Coventry today.

Football is the number one sport, with 64% of children playing on a regular basis, including more than 40% of girls. David Beckham is the most popular choice as a sporting hero (19%), polling more nominations than Lewis Hamilton, Jonny Wilkinson, Amir Khan and Paula Radcliffe combined (11% in total). The research also showed that when children play computer games 63% involve sport.

Eight out of 10 (79%) say they would like to do more, or the same amount, of sport when they are older. Half of girls (51%) want to play more sport in the future, bucking a national trend of reduced sporting activity when girls reach 16. Nine out of 10 children think sports facilities at their school are very good or fairly good, with only one in 20 saying they are poor. Click here for full report.

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