Youth Sport Trust Chief Executive, Ali Oliver MBE, said:
“As millions of young people across the country now move back to remote learning, the continuation of Physical Education and daily physical activity will be vital in supporting their wellbeing.
“We know that young people’s activity levels plummeted during the first lockdown, and this has contributed to some of the issues they are now facing – from mental health difficulties and low levels of physical fitness to developmental delays.
Schools have done so much in overcoming impossible challenges in the last ten months to keep children safe and able to learn. Over the coming weeks a virtual Physical Education curriculum focussed on recovery should be a priority. This could be a game changer for young people’s wellbeing.
The Youth Sport Trust is here to support schools, parents and carers every step of the way by providing resources, guidance and disseminating practical ideas and innovative content. The Well School movement and our virtual After School Sport Club are both examples of this, while our team of athlete mentors are providing online mentoring through our Active in Mind mental wellbeing programme.
“In 2019 government set out the initial stages of a School Sport and Activity Action Plan which was due to be developed further last year. This current crisis has made the need for a long-term national strategy to tackle inactivity and the decline in young people’s wellbeing through sport and improved Physical Education all the more urgent.”
The charity’s free support for schools and families to continue with PE, sport and physical activity at home and in school can be accessed at www.youthsporttrust.org/coronavirus-support. It is also working with the Oak National Academy to provide Key Stage 3 resources and online lesson plans for PE.