First experience of PE crucial says Youth Sport Trust

Mental health charity Mind is today launching its new Get Set to Go campaign to promote the benefits of exercise and physical activity for people with mental health problems.

The campaign is specifically targeted at women aged between 16 and 35 and aims to demonstrate that taking part in regular physical activity can help people improve mental health.

To launch the campaign Mind has released findings that show many women with mental health problems are not exercising due to negative experiences of PE when they were at school.

Chris Wright, Head of Health and Wellbeing at the Youth Sport Trust, said:

“The findings released by Mind today demonstrate why it is so important to give every young person a high quality experience of PE and sport when they are at school. A positive first experience can develop an interest and enjoyment in physical activity from a young age which is critical to encouraging lifelong participation.

“The health and wellbeing benefits of regular activity should not be forgotten. Active children enjoy better physical and mental health, social wellbeing, cognitive and academic performance. This positive impact not only helps children as they progress through school but also in adult life.”

The Youth Sport Trust works with schools across the country to help teachers make PE and school sport as appealing to girls as possible through its Girls Active programme.

The aim of the programme is to increase participation by giving girls a bigger say in how PE and sport should be delivered and getting a greater understanding of what motivates them to take part.

Following this schools develop an action plan based on their feedback.

Chris Wright added:

“We are acutely aware of the challenges of getting girls more active and we know that many take part in less activity as they progress through school. Peer pressures, exam stress, a lack of body confidence are all factors that can play a part in reducing levels of activity.

“Through our Girls Active programme we are addressing these issues and giving girls a much bigger say in the types of physical activity they take part in and how it is delivered in schools. Empowering them and giving them the opportunity to become role models is crucial to increasing participation.”

Girls Active is funded by Sport England and delivered in partnership with Women in Sport and This Girl Can. 

Read a new blog from our Head of Health and Wellbeing, Chris Wright, here.

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