Let's get children and young people excited about play and sport

Youth Sport Trust launches 10th National School Sport Week

Hundreds of thousands of young people will take part in physical activities in schools, nurseries and at home this week as part of the Youth Sport Trust’s (YST) National School Sport Week.

Marking a decade of the children’s charity’s annual week, it is today launching its best yet celebration of PE and school sport in a bid to hook children and young people on a lifelong love of movement. It comes just weeks after latest figures show childhood obesity to be the biggest issue of our time with more than a third of children in England overweight or obese by the time they finish primary school.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive of Youth Sport Trust, said:

This year we are celebrating the role of play and sport in education to mark a decade of National School Sport Week. Taking part in PE and school sport translates to so many lifelong benefits for our health and wellbeing, so it’s time we got children excited about sport and play.

We want our 10th year of National School Sport Week to reach as many children and young people as possible and create a step change in attitudes towards PE and school sport. By working with a number of key partners including the BBC’s and Premier League’s initiative Super Movers, FA, and Entertainment One’s (eOne) PJ Masks, we hope to educate the UK about the importance of being active and why PE and school sport teaches us so much more than mastery of sport.

The charity pioneers new ways of using sport to improve children’s wellbeing and give them a brighter future. It is campaigning for the benefits of being active to be widely recognised in battling declining mental wellbeing and obesity in this and future generations.

As well as its main partners of the week, the charity has also been supported by the Jo Cox Foundation through the Great Get Together, Greenhouse Sports and Votes for Schools, which will see hundreds of schools holding class discussions about how skills learnt in PE help pupils in other areas of their lives.

Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said:

The benefits of being active and enjoying sport at school go far beyond the playing field. High quality PE at school can build lifelong skills of teamwork, character and resilience that will stand any young person in good stead for the future.

 We want to encourage all young people to get into the healthy habit of playing sport – which is why we have given schools £920m through our Primary PE and School Sport Premium since 2013, to foster a love of sport and physical activity from an early age.

I look forward to getting involved with the Youth Sport Trust’s celebrations to promote the role of sport in education and I would like to wish all schools a happy National School Sport Week.

Highlights of this year’s National School Sport Week include:

Monday (25 June): Official partners, Premier League and BBC, through Super Movers will be engaging over 100 UK primary schools through a Mascot Monday to raise awareness about the importance of an active school day.

Tuesday (26 June): YST will be getting nursery and early years children excited about sport and play through its partnership with Entertainment One (eOne) and its popular animated children’s property PJ Masks. The partnership has developed a digital Super Moon themed activity pack and planning guide which includes a range of fun ideas, guidance, certificates and downloadable materials to increase engagement and maximise impact on children. eOne is also offering free at home activity packs to the first 500 nurseries and schools to register.

Wednesday (27 June): YST’s youth board, headteachers from its member schools, YST ambassadors and England Roses netball star Eboni Beckford-Chambers will be among those talking to MPs at the House of Commons about the value of sport and play, at a YST Parliamentary Reception, being hosted by the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP.

Thursday (28 June): Encouraging women and girls’ participation in football through its work with the FA and the Game of Our Own programme. The Football Association has resources available to download across all age groups.

Friday (29 June): Announcement of the charity’s winner for its NSSW social media competition will be decided for an inspirational athlete mentor to visit the winning school. Data to be released by YST and Votes for Schools on young people’s views on what they learn in PE.

For more information about the week visit www.youthsporttrust.org/national-school-sport-week Live action can be followed across social media using #NSSW.

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