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Minister's blues on question of sport

PUBLISHED: 14:20 24 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 March 2010

SPORTS minister Richard Caborn made a flying visit to Ipswich – but declined to rise to the Evening Star's challenge to answer a few easy questions about the Blues.

SPORTS minister Richard Caborn made a flying visit to Ipswich – but declined to rise to the Evening Star's challenge to answer a few easy questions about the Blues.

The new minister – who was caught out in a recent radio interview testing his sporting knowledge – was

visiting Copleston High School, which has now gained the status of a specialist sports college.

But during yesterday's visit, Mr Caborn refused to answer just four easy questions about the great Ipswich Town Football Club.

It was not the first time the minister has been caught out by the Star. In February 1999 he hosted a debate about the East of England, in Norwich, and the Star invited him to come to Suffolk instead to discuss the county's future.

When we put the sport posers to him yesterday, the minister yesterday claimed that he did not enter into 'pub quizzes.'

He said: "As I told my members – pub quizzes should stay in pubs."

However, he said that he had seen The Blues at work and was positive about their future in the Premiership.

He said: "It is good to see all the commentators proved wrong who wrote Ipswich off. They did exceptionally well last season."

Mr Caborn was also impressed with what he had seen at Copleston during the afternoon.

He said: "It is very good indeed and there are already good facilities for sport in this area.

"What is also good is the way they are recruiting coaches as many of them are ex-pupils who have come back – that is very nice to see."

He was taken on a tour of the school's sports area watching netballers, budding young short-tennis players and even tested out his own golf swing.

Copleston High is one of two Suffolk schools that have recently gained the status of a specialist sports college.

Thanks to Government funding a building project has begun on a new fitness suite and changing rooms that can be used by Copleston pupils as well as the wider community.

Specialist coaches are also being employed including the wife of Ipswich Town player Hermann Hreidarsson, Ragna, who will be teaching girls football.

Town footballing star Sean Thackerer who was also there during the minister's visit, said: "Colleges like this give excellence and reflects all abilities.

"It gives more access and more opportunity for more people."

Director of PE and Sport at Copleston, Dave Little said: "This means we can involve the whole community in the project.

"People can use our facilities and our coaches either by coming to us or us going out to them.

"Initially it is for our feeder schools but we hope it will rebound out into Ipswich."

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