ASKING a child to learn a sport at a young age could alienate them from physical activity for life, according to the chair of UK Sport.

Baronness Sue Campbell compared asking a three year-old to play sport to asking them to read Shakespeare.

Rather than encouraging children to learn a specific sport, she said, it is better to introduce them to basic movement skills.

Campbell said: “There has always been a belief that you need to grab them young in order to get them into your sport. I am not a proponent of that at all.”

“Sometimes if we specialise too early, we actually build our children to become very bored and almost stale with the activity.”