British kids poor in basic sports

London, Jan 17 (IANS) Thousands of secondary school children in Britain are "physically illiterate" and are unable to run, jump, throw a ball or catch, says the chief of the government's sports agency.

Susan Campbell, chief of UK Sport under the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, said such children "hardly move" by the time they move from primary school, the Daily Mail reported.

She said some 11-year-olds are not able to take part in the most basic sports.

Campbell, also chairwoman of the Youth Sport Trust, said sport should be taken as seriously as literacy in primary schools.

She said that about 20 percent of pupils aged five are overweight when they start school.

"Some secondary school teachers have 11-year-old pupils who hardly move, let alone catch or run," Campbell said.

"They can't catch, throw, jump or run - the fundamental basic movements of every sport."

Established by the Royal Charter in 1997, UK Sport is responsible for investing around 100 million pounds of public funds each year in high performance sport.