Access to sports halls and playing fields after the bell rings a step in right direction, says charity

Children's charity the Youth Sport Trust said keeping sports halls and playing fields open during the holidays will be crucial to make a lasting difference to children's wellbeing.

The Education Secretary has today announced that schools will receive additional money to keep sports halls and playing fields open during the holidays to fight child obesity.

Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, announced that the Department for Education is giving £2.4 million as part of a national drive to encourage children and young people to do 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Children's charity the Youth Sport Trust has welcomed the announcement.

Ali Oliver Chief Exectuive of the Youth Sport Trust, said:

It is really encouraging that government will be investing in the professional development of teachers and helping schools to think differently about how they engage young people in sport and physical activity.

This, combined with making greater use of school sport facilities after school and during the holidays, has the potential to make a lasting difference.

There has been a genuine unity across the sport sector about the urgent need to tackle inactivity and the decline in young people’s wellbeing. We are all determined to play our part and it is positive that the priorities set out in this government announcement are shared by the sector.

It will be important now that new approaches build on evidence of what works and give young people a voice, ensuring that long-term investment reaches those who have traditionally been the most likely to miss out on the life-changing benefits of sport and play.

We hope that this will include a specific focus on tackling the concerning drop-off in activity when pupils transition between primary and secondary schools.

Published on 27 January 2020