Sport Sector Unites for National School Sport Week At Home

National Governing Bodies and organisations of sport have pledged their support to a children’s charity’s campaign which aims to reinvent school sport days at home for children across the country this June.

Some of the country’s leading sports organisations say they will support the nation’s first ever National School Sport Week at Home, led by the Youth Sport Trust and supercharged by Sky Sports.

Taking place from 20 to 26 June, organisations including England Athletics, England Netball, Badminton England, the Golf Foundation, England and Wales Cricket Board, Lawn Tennis Association, UKActive, and the Sport & Recreation Alliance will support the UK-wide campaign to give families, communities, schools and sports clubs the opportunity to engage in a series of virtual sporting challenges which help young people capture the enjoyment, competition and camaraderie they have been missing out on during weeks of school closures and social distancing.

Lisa Wainwright, CEO of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said:

If children are engaged in physical activity at an early age, they are more likely to continue to be active as they grow up and develop a sporting habit for life. This is even more important at a time when in the worst performing local authorities, almost half of under-16s are active for less than 30 minutes each day.

As a long-term supporter of YST National School Sport Week, the Sport and Recreation Alliance is proud to once again partner with the Youth Sport Trust as we showcase the excellent work in the sector and celebrate its 25th anniversary.

In previous years National School Sport Week has seen thousands of schools join in a week-long celebration of school sport and Physical Education, and their important role enhancing young people’s wellbeing. The Youth Sport Trust is committed to recreating school sports days for its annual week of celebration to support young people’s mental and physical wellbeing amid the pandemic.

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

This is the nation’s first ever National School Sport Week at Home and it is fantastic to see the sport sector united in a collective effort to bring people together, promote play and sport and enhance young people’s wellbeing this summer.

With the majority of schools usually hosting their school sports day in the summer term we really don’t want young people to miss out on the fun and the opportunity to challenge their personal best which these events create.

Recent findings from Sport England show that 60% of young people find exercise helpful in coping with mental health during lockdown, we want to ensure that National School Sport Week at Home plays a central role in helping the nation’s children recover from some of things they will have experienced during lockdown such as loneliness, loss of friendships and the fun of playing together.

Already more than 800 organisations, schools and parents have signed up to support the week. To mark the week this year, many NGBs will be appointing National School Sport Champions who are passionate about the importance and value of PE and school sport.

Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said:

“The Golf Foundation greatly values the opportunity for PE, sport and physical activity to be promoted and celebrated as part of National School Sport Week at Home in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust. In the present Covid-19 situation, the games provided within the resources can help pupils to participate both at school or at home (with or without golf equipment) and place a strong focus on Personal Best and life skills.”

Chris Jones, CEO of England Athletics, said:

“England Athletics understands the importance of high-quality PE and school sport and the foundation that this can give a young person in helping them to live a healthy and active life whatever their aspiration, ability or background.

“We are committed to supporting National School Sport Week at Home to help teachers, parents, carers and young leaders to inspire the next generation and to maintain a resilient sporting habit in anticipation for the time when we can all return to a new “normal” and enjoy activity that is so fundamental to the DNA of our nation.”

Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball, said:

“England Netball are proud to celebrate National School Sport Week at Home from all our homes and virtual netball courts across the country. It is more important than ever to continue to support all young people to develop a love of being active. We will share just a few ways children, young people, their families and the whole school community can be active and build great character traits through netball from their own homes.”

People can register to take part in the campaign by visiting youthsporttrust.org/nssw. Anyone signing up will receive videos and activity cards to help them plan a series of challenges across the week for their families, neighbours, friends or colleagues.

Further quotes from supporting organisations:

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, said: “We're delighted to support National School Sport Week at Home. Under the current circumstances it has never been more important we are creative and innovative in supporting everyone to take part in sport and physical activity from home. Our Stronger Together campaign hub has lots of useful resources to support our workforce in delivering fun and safe sport and physical activity from home, and what we'll need to consider as lock down is eased.”

Sarah Mortiboys, Head of Programme and Impact at Dallaglio Rugby Works, said: “National School Sport Week at Home is the opportunity to engage and participate in sport! These times are challenging however the skills learnt through sport will ensure that we remain strong both physically and mentally as we move forward together. DRW are proud to support National School Sport Week at Home!”

Adrian Christy, CEO of Badminton England, said: “I am delighted that Badminton England is actively supporting National School Sport Week at Home as part of our continued commitment to PE and School Sport. In these challenging times, it is more important than ever that our young people are active. To support this we have lots of exciting daily activities and challenges for young people and their families to take part in. I look forward to seeing everyone picking up a racket and being active this week.”

Peter Brooke, British Orienteering’s champion for National School Sport Week at Home, said: “Orienteering provides an excellent opportunity for children of all ages to develop a wide range of mental and physical skills, whilst exploring the great outdoors. At British Orienteering, we have developed a range of resources which help develop these skills in a fun and interactive way. In addition, why not explore the great outdoors by experiencing one of our permanent orienteering courses local to you. There are hundreds of courses across the country waiting for you to explore.”

Marcus Capel, CEO of The Pony Club, said: “National School Sport Week at Home enables The Pony Club to highlight the opportunities for keeping fit and active and getting outdoors whilst connecting with horses and ponies. As the youth equestrian charity, with branches and centres around the country and internationally, we promote animal welfare, structured equestrian learning, high quality coaching of riding and the opportunity to compete in 9 different equestrian sports at National Championship level. We are piloting a schools project to open up access to horses and riding by bringing schools and riding centres together to offer more opportunities for young people. Our sport develops togetherness, resilience and respect through fun, friendship and horsemanship.”

Greg Yarnall, Head of Development at Table Tennis England, said: “We are excited to be involved in National School Sport Week at Home and we encourage all young people and families to get involved and keep active in a fun way. Table tennis is a great way to keep active at home and we have developed a range of ways to take part at ttkidz.co.uk with or without the use of table tennis equipment.”

The full list of supporting sports organisations includes:
Activity Alliance Dallaglio Rugby Works Sport and Recreation Alliance
Archery GB ECB Swim England
Badminton England England Athletics Table Tennis England
Basketball England England Boxing The FA
Boccia England England Lacrosse Association The Pony Club
British Gymnastics England Handball UK Ultimate
British Rowing England Netball ukactive
British Swimming Goalball UK  
British Triathlon Federation Golf Foundation  
British Orienteering London Sport  
British Wheelchair Basketball LTA  
CIMSPA Rugby Football League  
Chance to Shine Rugby Football Union  

The campaign builds on the Youth Sport Trust’s #StayHomeStayActive campaign which has been supporting schools, parents and young people with daily free resources to get young people moving and enjoying the PE curriculum while at home.

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