Sports stars unite to get children active this summer

To combat concerns around a decline in sport and physical activity, British sporting stars have come together to encourage children to get active this summer.

To combat concerns around a decline in sport and physical activity, British sporting stars have come together to encourage children to get active this summer.

The pandemic has resulted in rising inactivity levels amongst children and young people, with less than half (44.9%) meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 60 minutes a day, and almost a third of children (2.3 million) now being classed as ‘inactive’ as a result of the lockdown restrictions, and being active for less than 30 minutes each day.

In a bid to encourage the nation to move more, stars from 19 sports have joined forces to provide fun exercises and activities for free through the Active Recovery Hub, which sits on the School Games website. The Hub was created by the Youth Sport Trust and Sport England, with support from the National Lottery, as part of an ambitious Government investment of £1.7 billion to boost learning and recovery for children and young people following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Active Recovery Hub will provide schools, local authorities, and families with easy access to free resources to get children moving before, during and after the school day.

The new ‘Nudge Up’ activities are presented by World Cup winning cricketer Jos Buttler, England Rugby captain Sarah Hunter and one of Britain’s most successful wheelchair tennis players, Lucy Shuker. The fun videos include different activities to get children up and moving, with interactive and accessible exercises, as well as age-specific activities and progressions for children as they build up their confidence and skill level.

England cricketer, Jos Buttler, said:

“We all know the power sport and physical activity have when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, so for young people to have missed out on that for a whole year has been really damaging.

“Youth Sport Trust’s ‘Nudge Up’ videos are a great way for schools, teachers and parents to help them make up for lost time, with loads of different exercises and activities to keep them engaged and active!

“I’ve been delighted to be involved in the project, and hopefully these videos will inspire kids to have fun while keeping active.”

Ali Oliver, the Youth Sport Trust’s Chief Executive, added:

“One of the most effective ways to support young people’s recovery from the consequences of the pandemic and foster fun, friendship and fitness is through play, sport and physical activity.  It’s so important that, as a sector, we are able to provide fun and engaging ways for young people to return to sport and activity.

“This has been a fantastic sector-wide effort to get children and young people moving more and 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.”

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

“The Active Recovery Hub is an excellent example of the sport and activity sector collaborating to provide fun, enjoyable and inclusive activities for children and young people. After the past year of disruption to their lives, helping children and young people have a positive experience with sport and physical activity is vital in helping them in establishing healthy habits for a lifetime.

"These fun videos will hopefully give young people the nudge to try something new and get up and move. Being active builds skills and personal development, while also improving health and wellbeing, but most of all, we want children and young people enjoying themselves and having fun whilst being active."

The hub and its resources will be widely available for schools and parents to access.

St Bedes’ Middle School in Redditch are one of the schools to have already used the resources. Their Head of Pastoral, Kate Gallinagh, and Head of PE, Joe Stenning, said:

“At St Bedes’ Middle School 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. 

“The Active Recovery Hub is a fantastic resource for us, providing teachers with an easy way to get students up and moving throughout the day. The ‘Nudge Up’ exercises and activities are very simple and can be done in the classroom, giving children and young people an easy way to get active and refocus. Our students have really enjoyed taking part and seeing their favourite sports stars on the screen has been fantastic!”

To access the ‘Nudge Up’ activities through the Active Recovery Hub, visit www.yourschoolgames.com/active-recovery. Oak National Academy will also signpost schools to the hub through its Summer Learning Support content.