Children switched off from social media, shut down devices, and took a moment to play outdoors, connect and be together again to start the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week 2021.
Pupils at St Alban & St Stephen Catholic Primary and Nursery School in St Albans, Hertfordshire were treated to a visit from former CBBC presenter and broadcaster Leah Boleto who helped to encourage them to take some time to prioritise PE, play and sport in a year where their worlds have been turned upside down.
At 9.30am on Monday 21 June, children in St Albans kick-started the Youth Sport Trust’s week of inclusive school sports days by joining in and asking the nation to ‘Pause to Play’.
Leah Boleto said:
“This year we have all been guilty of being glued to our screens. For children and young people, especially those born during the pandemic like my daughter Lucia, most of what they know is connection through a screen and social distancing.
“That’s why I have joined forces with the Youth Sport Trust and Kimberly to ask the nation to pause to play this week. Get outside and get your heart pumping. Really devote some time on National School Sport Week to connecting in the real world and being together again.”
Clare Moore, Headteacher at St Alban & St Stephen Catholic Primary and Nursery School in St Albans, said:
“We are so delighted to be taking part in National School Sport Week 2021.
“As a school we feel it is so important for every child to be able to take part in regular physical exercise which helps their mindfulness and wellbeing as well as developing co-operation, teamwork and collaboration.
“When the children are enjoying physical exercise, we find they can focus and concentrate really well in class.”
The start of the week also saw Pussycat Doll and YST Ambassador Kimberly Wyatt create a special TikTok challenge for National School Sport Week. She has created and shared a follow-along routine to My House by Jodie Harsh celebrating the theme of the week ‘Together Again’. While the dance has been designed for young people aged 11 to 16, it is accessible to everyone. To try Kimberly’s TikTok challenge follow @kimberlywyatt on TikTok.
Since young people returned to school, the Youth Sport Trust has been working with other sports organisations to help promote an active recovery – harnessing the power of sport and play to help young people to reconnect and recover.
Free resources and top tips to help young people to Pause to Play and hold a Together Again sports day this week are still available to all who sign up on the.charity’s website. Visit www.youthsporttrust.org/national-school-sport-week.