Research from Capital One bank shows that 1.3 million families will spend less on sport this year as government cuts continue to hit children's leisure activities.

As London gets set to host this summer's Olympics Games, organisers LOCOG had hoped to create a "sporting legacy for future generations" but falling levels of participation and spending on youth sport could undermine this.

Former Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell has warned that too few children are taking part in sport at school and that the Games may end up being a giant "missed opportunity" to inspire young Brits. She also criticised Education Secretary Michael Gove for cutting funding for the Schools Sports Partnerships from £162million to £35million thus signalling the end of schemes including free swimming for under-16s.

Young parents are the worst affected according to the survey of over a thousand households, with 52 per cent of parents aged between 18 and 34 saying they will spend less on their children's activities.

It's not just youth sport that is suffering cutbacks with 1.1million families spending less per year on music, art and culture but Capitl One marketing officer Michael Woodburn believes there still cost-effective ways to keep children active and entertained.

He said: "We want parents to ensure they are managing their money in the most effective way. This involves anything from taking advantage of discounts and cashback offers to reviewing the way they use credit - it all adds up."

Posted 13/06/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com