Charity responds to new report on community sport and getting children active again

A report published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee today (Thursday 29 July) has called on government to launch a nationwide campaign to get children active. Read the Youth Sport Trust's response.

Following an inquiry into Sport in Our Communities, the committee of MPs has set out a series of recommendations, including a call for government to launch a sports equivalent to the five-a-day campaign by the end of the year.

MPs have also recommended that the Government set out the ways in which it intends to encourage schools across the country to make their facilities more available to community and grassroots sports clubs.

Responding to the DCMS committee report, Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive Ali Oliver MBE, said:

“Getting children active is one of the best ways we can help them to recover from the consequences of the pandemic. This is so important to children’s physical and mental health, as well as helping them to connect, equipping them with important life skills, and building a readiness to learn.

“We wholeheartedly agree with MPs’ call for a national campaign to promote activity and for schools to be supported to open up their facilities, something that organisations across the school sport and physical activity sector have been united in advocating for.

“There has been a fantastic effort to get children and young people moving again this year. This included the launch of an Active Recovery Hub, supported by the National Lottery and developed in partnership with Sport England alongside a whole host of sporting organisations, to make it easier for schools and families to access ideas and content across a range of different sports and activities.

“However, too many young people are inactive and, from our own research, we know that fewer than half of parents are aware their children should be active for 60 minutes every day, as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer.

“We believe a national campaign should form part of a longer-term strategy for PE and school sport, underpinned by a clear national ambition and measurable targets for improving young people’s wellbeing and activity levels.”