Hundreds of thousands enjoy week-long celebration of school sport

National School Sport Week 2021: The highlights
  • More than 800,000 young people enjoy week of inclusive ‘Together Again’ school sports days for National School Sport Week 2021
  • Schools, charities and sporting organisations share activities on social media as #NSSW2021 hashtag appears more than 30 million times. See some of the social media highlights.
  • Sporting stars, teachers and politicians unite to promote the importance of school sport and PE


A week-long celebration of school sport saw more than 800,000 young people enjoy inclusive school sport days this week.

The Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week campaign ran from Saturday 19 to Friday 25 June.

More than 2,000 schools, organisations and communities signed up to take part in the week which focused on the power of sport to help bring young people back together and reconnect after a year like no other.

Sporting stars like Hannah Cockroft and Lucy Shuker, along with dozens of politicians, joined in to support the week and champion the importance of school sport. Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston visited a primary school in London along with former Team GB swimmer Jazz Carlin.

Using free resources provided by the Youth Sport Trust, schools found innovative ways to bring this year’s theme to life, from  St Elizabeth’s School in Manchester basing their events around a thank you to the NHS, to Plantation Primary School in Liverpool putting on its own Highland Games for pupils to get involved in from home.

More than 1,600 schools pledged to hold a school sport day as part of the campaign, after so many young people missed out last year. Analysis by the Youth Sport Trust shows this would equate to sports days for at least 818,000 young people.

Some of the highlights of the week included:

  •  Young people at St Alban and St Stephen School in St Albans helping to lead a national Pause to Play to kick off the week, which featured on CBBC Newsround.
  • Pupils of all ages got moving in classrooms up and down the country as they learned a special National School Sport Week dance routine choreographed by Pussycat Doll and Youth Sport Trust Ambassador Kimberly Wyatt. Youth Sport Trust staff also joined in the fun.
  • Inspired by Euro 2020, football festivals promoting equal access to the game for girls. England legend Kelly Smith inspired girls at an event put on by the FA and Youth Sport Trust at a London school, part of the Game of Our Own Leadership Programme - supported by Barclays. Separately, the Manchester United Foundation was one of several club foundations to get involved, inviting children from local schools to hold sports day events on the pitch at Old Trafford.
  • As part of an initiative with Purplebricks, schools encouraged pupils to unleash their creativity by designing artwork in support of Team GB ahead of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Olympic legend Denise Lewis helped launch the first mural, in Hertfordshire.

Many school events saw young people leading and designing their own activities. It came after new research - released by the Youth Sport Trust at the start of the week - highlighted the importance of empowering young people to lead sporting activities.

Thank You Day

This year’s National School Sport Week was partnered by the Together Coalition. From family members to good neighbours, delivery drivers to our students - we all have someone to say thank you to this year. That’s why we’re supporting Thank You Day on Sunday 4th July.

Schools will be holding “thank you parties” on Friday 2 July to share their appreciation and thank-yous, including to those who went the extra mile supporting school sports day during National School Sport Week.

National School Sport Week will return next year from 18 to 24 June 2022.


Published on 25 June 2021