London, Jan 11 : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that star footballer David Beckham is a true sporting ambassador, inspiring youngsters to lead a healthier life.
Brown met Beckham at his football academy in Greenwich, South London to learn how it is taking young people off the street and leading them into sport and healthy eating.
Brown said Beckham could inspire children and help the government's target of every child having five hours of sport a week in school.
He said Beckham had the "sparkle and the stature" needed to inspire the nation's children and teenagers.
Beckham had a special role to play as an "ambassador for sport", and the kids listen to him, Brown added.
"He shows that doing something to be fit, doing something for charity and doing something to help people is something we should all be very, very proud of. Sport is the key to a fit nation. It's the key to a competitive nation and it's the key to a country, which in every way is healthier, fitter and more successful," he said.
Manchester is expected to get a new David Beckham Football Academy to continue the former England captain's association with the city where he spent most of his playing career.
Other similar football academies mixing sport and education could be set up in Scotland and the North East.
Meanwhile, Beckham said that he wanted to do everything he could do to help. Childrens. He said there was a need to take the lessons of the academy "out into the field".
"The interest we have had so far has been incredible. We have had 22,000 kids come through here and we will expand it into other places," The Mirror quoted Beckham, as saying.
He said it was an "incredible honour" to have the PM's backing to use sport to boost nutrition, healthy lifestyles and education.
Beckham also said that he was ready to take on a role in leading England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup.