AN organisation which arranges North Yorkshire’s inter-county school sports teams has warned that a decision to withdraw its funding could “shatter the sporting dreams” of young people.
North Yorkshire County Council has written to North Yorkshire and York Schools Sport Association (NYYSSA) saying it will not fund the body this year.
Instead, the money will be passed to individual schools to use the money as they choose.
NYYSSA has warned that if schools do not subscribe to the organisation, it could mean no pupils will be able to represent North Yorkshire at inter-county matches, or attend regional and national championships.
The organisation said dozens of young people had progressed through the county system to make a career in sport or represent their country at football, athletics, basketball, cricket, cross country, hockey, rugby union, gymnastics and netball.
Secretary of NYYSSA Pete Lamb warned that the decision could lead to a “postcode lottery” for inter-county sports participation with pupils missing out if they attended schools unwilling to pay.
He added: “Once again, governmental cutbacks and rushed-through financial rule changes are having a hidden impact on educational and sporting opportunities despite the rhetoric of protected educational budgets and the purported vision of an Olympic Legacy.”
Martyn Coombs, chairman of NYYSSA, described it as a “very sad day” for sports people and their parents and carers in the county.
He added: “Having had the financial rug pulled from under our feet without any warning whatsoever, this is a bitter pill to swallow and if the four areas of Harrogate and Craven, Hambleton and Richmond, Scarborough-Ryedale and the City of York and Selby are unable to make up the shortfall, no youngster will represent our county in school sport with the current structure potentially dissolving from September 2014.
“This could shatter the sporting dreams of young people in the county.”
North Yorkshire County Council said it had to delegate more funding to schools as a result of changes brought about by the Department for Education.
A spokeswoman added: “The decision to delegate the £14,000 funding to individual schools previously given by the local authority to the NYYSSA, was made in consultation with all schools and with the Schools Forum.
“The decision was taken so that schools could use their own judgement whether to continue to pay fees to the organisation from their own budgets.”