On your marks, get set, go…for National School Sport Week!

Thousands of schools, young people, parents, politicians, and businesses up and down the country will this week become ‘changemakers’.

They will be raising awareness of the vital importance of PE, sport and play as National School Sport Week returns (20 to 26 June).

Evidence shows that unhappy and unhealthy children don’t learn. Through its new strategy the Youth Sport Trust is working to build back play, physical activity and school sport in children’s lives, helping them to balance the demands of a digital age, and create societal change when it comes to the place and value of PE and school sport. 

Coming together this week, thousands have pledged to raise awareness of the challenges ahead for young people's health and wider development, and importantly what can be done to build a sense of belonging for all children when they get active or play. The Youth Sport Trust recently revealed through a YouGov survey that:

  • A significant majority of parents are concerned that young people are not getting enough physical activity (81%) and 83% believe they are spending too much time online and not enough time with each other  
  • 48% of UK adults believe sport and play help young people to improve their concentration and ability to learn 
  • Two thirds (66%) of adults agree that sport and play help young people’s social wellbeing 

Today, young people in Birmingham are warming up for a special sports day at their school. Thanks to a collaboration between the Youth Sport Trust and TeamGB, pupils from Sutton Park Primary School and Prince Albert High School will launch the annual awareness campaign bringing to life this year’s theme - Belonging – a place in sport for every child. 

Why just take part when you can help run the show?  

The school pupils are owning their sports day to demonstrate how to make it fun and competitive for everyone. Pupils will oversee fun races and sports day events to put four TeamGB and ParalympicsGB sports stars through their paces including double gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold, track and field star Anyika Onuora and gold medal winning wheelchair rugby player Aaron Phipps MBE as well as charity representatives, local councillor Rob Pocock and their teachers!  

Alison Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: 

“National School Sport Week is here, and we are excited to be joining forces with Team GB this year to help raise awareness of the vital importance of Physical Education and school sport in the education and development of all children. Together the partnership will bring together Team GB athletes as inspiring changemakers who will bring to life the role of play and sport in rebuilding health, happiness and belonging in schools, communities, and homes around the country.  

“After the huge disruption of the past two years, the inequalities in young people’s health and activity levels have increased. We know unhealthy, unhappy children don’t learn and as a result we won’t have a society fit for the future. We want every child to have fun, move more and develop healthy habits this National School Sport Week.”  

Andy Anson, CEO of the British Olympic Association, said: 

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Youth Sport Trust on this fun initiative. An important part of our remit is to bring together and inspire the nation through the power of Olympic sport, and inspiring young people to develop and maintain an active lifestyle is a vital element. It will be great to see our athletes sharing their stories and encouraging the next generation to reap the benefits of involvement in sport at every level.”  

The launch will see the start of the Youth Sport Trust’s ‘1 a Day’ 60 second physical activity challenges at 8.30am to support families and schools with ideas to keep moving every day across the week. 

Elsewhere, there is lots happening to help every child feel a sense a belonging and find a place to belong in school sport: 


New research will be released by the Youth Sport Trust alongside an event at the Copperbox Arena in London which will see more than 90 girls come together to discuss barriers to sport and how they can be changemakers for sport and play. 


Our Chief Executive Ali Oliver MBE joins representatives across the sport and physical activity sector in the House of Lords for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport. Join some of the Youth Sport Trust’s ambassadors in trying the Catch and Clap ‘1 a Day’ Challenge. Lookout for what others are doing on the week by following and using #NSSW2022 


Is also Olympic Day! Look out for TeamGB sports stars including Sam Oldham, part of the bronze medal-winning men’s gymnastics team at London 2012. The athletes will be visiting five schools across England. On this day, politicians are also joining in the fun to see what’s happening in schools. 


A team of almost 30 people begin their challenge to climb the Three Peaks all in aid of our mission to help more children to experience the benefits of sport and play and feel a sense of belonging through sport. 

Families and schools can still access free resources by registering at www.youthsporttrust.org/join-us/national-school-sport-week. For updates across the week follow @YouthSporttrust on social media.  

Published on 20 June 2022