Jessica Ennis and Christine Ohuruogu will honour the nations top school sportsmen and women

Last Updated: 14/11/12 1:16pm

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Jessica Ennis and Christine Ohuruogu stressed the importance of schools and family in inspiring the next generation of British athletes.

The Olympians will be part of the judging and presentation panel for the School Sport Matters Awards at Lord's on Wednesday evening that recognises the achievements of schools and pupils around Britain.

2008 400m Olympic champion Ohuruogu said: "I think we have to remember that a child's first contact with sport will probably be in school, that's how I started off.

"I actually used to play netball but before I actually joined a club my first love of sport came from being in school.

"I think it's important we recognise that schools have a huge part to play in passing on the passion of sport and hopefully the kids will latch onto that and want to participate in sport later in life.

"Growing up now is a lot different to when I was younger. Kids are a lot busier and sports can be pushed aside. But I think the fact that we are recognising that school sport does matter hopefully will encourage a lot more schools to really push sport through in the curriculum."

Ennis, who won Olympic heptathlon gold in London, said her family played a huge role in her path into athletics.

"My family got me involved in athletics in the first place and supported me the whole way," said Ennis.

"Having that network of people who believe in what you do and that are there to ferry you around the country to competitions and training, that's a massive help.

"It's really important that young athletes have got that structure and support around them."

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