Activity hub to help children achieve 60 minutes a day is launched

A new Active Recovery Hub is launching to provide schools, local authorities, and families with easy access to free resources to get children moving before, during and after the school day.

The Youth Sport Trust and Sport England have led the creation of the Active Recovery Hub with the support of funding from the National Lottery.

This follows a commitment in the Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan to extend the School Games website to help teachers and parents find opportunities for young people to compete and get active.

It also follows an ambitious Government investment of £1.7 billion to boost learning and recovery for children and young people following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The new hub will sit on the popular School Games website and provide the ideal platform to get all young people more active. More than 18,800 schools already take part in the School Games nationwide. A total of 38 sports organisations have provided content and expertise to create a diverse range of activities that are inclusive.  

Baxter College in Kidderminster is one of the schools which said it will use the hub. Principal Matthew Carpenter said: 

“At Baxter College we have prioritised an active recovery, making the most of the opportunities in our curriculum to support the space and time needed for students to have an active summer. When we’ve replanned our calendar, we’ve made sure we’ve built the time in for as many opportunities as possible and made sure our Covid control measures don’t stifle student participation.  

For us the benefits go beyond the impact on physical fitness, the relationships and resilience that grow through a broad range of active opportunities are a vital foundation to recovering from the challenges of the last 12 months.

The hub has hundreds of resources available on it to help all children achieve the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation of an average of 60 active minutes a day. Examples of what it includes are: 

  • A Tokyo Ten virtual active breaktime, 10 minutes of activity to get moving by Travel to Tokyo
  • Mini-games resources, designed by charity Sense to help disabled people to be more active
  • A virtual 30-minute YST After School Sport Club. With hosts including England footballer Rachel Yankey and England netballer Sasha Corbin
  • Move Crew, designed by ukactive Kids and Nike to help young people unlock their 60 minutes of daily recommended activity with activity missions
  • Introductory package to orienteering activities  
Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, OBE, PhD, said: 

The pandemic has had such a devastating impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of our children, causing high levels of mental distress. Active Recovery offers a positive and proactive route to recovery which builds physical fitness, stamina and social skills.

Mike Diaper, Executive Director for Children and Young People at Sport England, said: 

“Helping children and young people have a positive experience of being active is vital so that they can build healthy habits that last a lifetime. After a year of such disruption, this free and easy-to-use resource will help schools, local authorities and families give young people variety and a greater chance to find something they enjoy, so they can get moving throughout the day. 

“We simply couldn’t offer these important resources without the support of the players of The National Lottery and the funding they generate. The Hub is an excellent example of the sport and activity sector collaborating to provide fun, enjoyable and inclusive activities for children and young people to do.” 

Lisa Wainwright, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, added: 

“The release of the Active Recovery Hub comes at a time when physical activity must be made as accessible as possible for our children and young people. 

“Following the impact of lockdowns and school closures in the last year, resources such as these are essential in making sure that children can easily engage with, and enjoy the benefits of, sport and recreation. 

“This welcome innovation led by the Youth Sport Trust and supported by the sector, will provide those who deliver school sport the tools needed to get every child outside and playing again.” 

Huw EdwardsCEO at ukactive, said: 

“The Active Recovery Hub is a really positive and important tool, as part of a sector-wide effort, to support the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The last year has had an enormous impact on our children’s activity levels and it is of the upmost importance that we invest in their health and wellbeing as part of this recovery period. 

“Sport and physical activity in school, home and community settings provides invaluable opportunities for children to develop physically, socially and emotionally, and it is vital that our recovery efforts and our charge to build back better embrace an unwavering focus on children’s health and wellbeing.” 

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: 

“The Active Recovery Hub will make it easy for schools to access age-appropriate content so children can be helped to be active, recover their wellbeing and re-engage in school.  

“Teachers have told us they recognise the importance of physical activity and the outdoors in children’s recovery, but they have so much on their plate at the moment, we want to make it simple for them. The hub will support schools to find easy to use and engaging content all in one place, removing some of the barriers currently faced.  

“With National School Sport Week just around the corner in June, the Active Recovery Hub and joined up approach from the school sport and physical activity sector will be vital in supporting children to have fun and celebrate the life changing benefits of play and sport.” 

The Active Recovery Hub is available by visiting www.yourschoolgames.com/active-recovery. Schools can begin to register for National School Sport Week by visiting www.youthsporttrust.org/national-school-sport-week