As political leaders and parties search for ideas for their own manifestos, we have spent the past few months convening leaders from education, sport, physical activity and health and wellbeing to bring forward proposals to increase children and young people’s levels of physical activity.
Our strong belief is that if we can increase activity levels, we can improve children and young people’s wellbeing and achievement.
The overarching ambition within our manifesto is for a new national plan to guarantee every child access to 60 active minutes a day, as recommended by the UK’s Chief Medical Officers. This should:
- Resource a dedicated coordination and delivery team working across a family of schools in every community
- Introduce a new national wellbeing measurement for children, to track progress and target interventions
- Protect and increase spaces for play and physical activity in every locality, and provide co-curricular sport for all children
- Reimagine Physical Education, making it a core subject developing physically literate children, healthy learners and active citizens
- Formalise existing youth sport leadership opportunities into a national young sport volunteers programme delivering year-round social action
The publication of our manifesto comes at a time when children’s wellbeing – social, mental and physical – is in crisis. As our manifesto explains, by providing daily opportunities to be active through PE, sport and play we can help tackle these challenges whilst also improving attendance, behaviour and attainment.
We believe that the time for change is now. We were delighted that MPs from the biggest political parties in the UK attended our launch, including those responsible for the development of both education and sport policy. Not only did this give them a chance to hear about what’s inside the manifesto, but they also got the chance to speak directly with children and young people about why being physically active is so important to them.
We were also joined by a number of athletes including Dame Denise Lewis, Hannah Cockcroft and Duncan Goodhew, as well as Sir Mo Farah who launched ‘Mo’s Mission’ with us, seeking to encourage and inspire all children to achieve '60 minutes a day – of PE, sport and play.'
This is a good start but there is much more to do. In the months ahead, we will be working alongside partners to make the case for children and young people’s physical activity being a priority in this election year. It’s great to see that there is already so much support for our manifesto, and we’re excited to build on that with an ambition to ensure every child can benefit from PE, sport and play.
You can find out more about our manifesto here.