School sports days are back! More than 1,000 events planned to take place this month

Schools across the country are coming together to celebrate a week of fun, play and sport. 

Following a time of isolation and a year in which sports days were forced to take place at home, children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and the Together campaign have teamed up this summer to help schools and children recover. Through a series of themed ‘Together Again’ games, 1,140 schools have committed to hold sports days between 19 and 25 June. 

In 2020, children had their worlds turned upside down. A recent study has shown that parents recognised the importance of physical education (PE) and school sport in helping support children’s wellbeing and 81% believe that cuts to PE, sport and break time in schools are likely to have had a negative impact. The study was commissioned by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and supported by the Gregson Family Foundation, conducted by YouGov. It highlights the need for school sport and PE, now more than ever. 

Using free resources that contain ideas on how to plan, participate and promote inclusive school sports days, the week promises to empower young people to have fun playing sport and access high quality PE. 

Here is how schools, young people, and organisations can embrace a return of school sports days and enjoy being Together Again: 
Young people 

After a year of connectivity online, supporters including Kimberly Wyatt and Leah Boleto are asking young people to Pause to Play on 21 June. In 2020, clogs, flip flops and sandals helped young people to creatively access at home PE and school sport through the likes of horizontal climbing. This year, ambassadors for children’s wellbeing want to encourage young people and schools to connect in person again, switch off devices and pause lessons for some play. Kimberly has developed a unique TikTok dance routine for the week for young people to have a go at. It is hoped that sports day activities will be led by young people themselves. 

Schools 

Children at Stroud High School in Gloucestershire will be trying a range of alternative as well as traditional school sports week activities including getting moving under a disco dome, code breaking sports, and team building activities. 

June Fletcher, PE teacher at Stroud High School, said of the week: 

"The physical and mental benefits that sport has brought throughout this difficult time in the world is phenomenal. Its why Physical Education is prioritised at our school as an essential part of our broad and balanced curriculum and extensive extra-curricular programmes.  

"On the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week, we want to shine a spotlight on PE and school sport and ensure our pupils have an amazing experience on this important week. Wellbeing is at the centre of that nurturing after these strange times and we hope National School Sport Week will inspire young people."

National Governing Bodies of Sportand organisations 

Last year The FA and Lionesses encouraged more young people to get into football with Chloe Kelly setting a football target practice challenge. This year, the Youth Sport Trust is holding a football festival day with the support of The FA to accelerate equal access to the game in schools. Sport and Recreation Alliance will be holding its own sports day to help employees reconnect following months of working from home.  

For more information and to sign up to take part in this summer’s National School Sport Week go to:www.youthsporttrust.org/national-school-sport-week.