New research released today reveals that one in four (25%) British parents and guardians are worried that their child isn't active enough.
The Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week survey, commissioned to look at the attitudes of British adults with school-aged children towards sport and physical activity, also found that 81% of parents think that sport can play an important role in their child's development, while 92% agree that they fully support their child taking part in sport.
Yet with just over a year to go until London 2012, parents highlight the cost of sport club membership outside of school (27%) and the cost of equipment (16%) as big barriers to their child doing more physical activity. However, parents agree that schools can play an important role in encouraging pupils to get involved in sport.
The findings are released as Lloyds TSB launches National School Sport Week 2011, an event run in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which takes place from 27 June to 1 July 2011. With more than 14,000 schools and five million young people across Britain set to take part this year, Britain's biggest ever school sport event promises to help address these concerns and encourage children to do more sport and achieve their personal best, both in and out of school.
Inspiring children to do more sport
In 2010, Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week inspired young people across Britain to try a new Olympic or Paralympic sport for the first time. As a result of taking part in the week, nearly three quarters (71%) of primary school pupils were inspired to take part in more sport, whilst regular sport participation amongst young people increased from 76% to 82% across Britain.
The Parent factor
Parents and guardians are also being urged to get involved in National School Sport Week this year, with parental inspiration found to be a major factor in their child's involvement in sport. The research found that 81% of parents or guardians of school aged children who take part in five or more hours of PE and sport per week played sport outside of school when they were growing up. 87% of parents who loved sport at school consider themselves "physically active parents" now and they in turn support and encourage their child, who is then more likely to spend more time taking part and enjoying sport, both in and out of school.
In addition, 69% of very active parents think that they, or a member of their family, are an inspiration for their child, whilst three quarters (75%) of parents of children taking part in five or more hours of PE and sport per week regularly transport them to take part in sport. With London 2012 fast approaching, this virtuous cycle of sporting activity suggests that 'the parent factor' has never been more important in shaping the levels of physical activity by children across Britain.
Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week ambassador, Gabby Logan, comments: "Parents are often the first place children look to when they want to do more sport and the research highlights the important role we can play in ensuring they remain active beyond school PE lessons. As a keen sportswoman myself, I believe it is my role to inspire my children to try new things and take part in more sport and physical activity and that is why I will continue to encourage and facilitate their sporting activities, both in and out of school."
With the research showcasing the essential role of schools, parents and guardians in helping Britain's children become more active, Lloyds TSB is encouraging parents, no matter how active, to get behind their child's school and pledge their support for National School Sport Week at: www.lloydstsb.com/nationalschoolsportweek
Schools that receive the minimum number of pledges will be in with the chance of carrying the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, or winning tickets to the Games, as Lloyds TSB helps take London 2012 to all corners of Britain.
Mum of two, Gabby Logan, continued: "As family life gets busier and busier, it's so important that parents lead by example, remain active, and encourage their children to take part in more physical activity. I was fortunate that my own parents were very active and inspired me to participate in sport and I can really see the benefit of playing sports and watching my kids take part to support them in remaining active, fit and healthy."
"I encourage parents everywhere to get behind National School Sport Week and pledge their support for their local school."