Schools can sign up to receive free resources to help young people stay active

National School Sports Week is back for 2024 from 17 to 23 of June, with a whole week of activities encouraging and inspiring every young person to get active for at least 60 minutes a day in response to falling awareness of recommended activity levels.

New research by national children’s charity Youth Sport Trust shows less than a third of parents are aware children and young people should be active for 60 minutes a day, a significant year on year fall from 43 per cent. Awareness from teachers of the guidelines has also fallen from 35 per cent to 30 per cent this year.

Youth Sport Trust said this decline is particularly alarming as activity levels – critical for future happiness, health and wellbeing – have stagnated among 5 to 18-year-olds.

Sport England Active Lives Children and Young People Survey data shows fewer than half (47 per cent) of children are meeting the Chief Medical Officers’ recommended average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day, and activity levels remain largely unchanged compared to 2021- 2022.

In response to the drop, Youth Sport Trust has focused the theme of its annual flagship campaign, National School Sport Week, on raising awareness of the recommendation and encouraging as many young people as possible to increase their active minutes to achieve one hour each day.

Ali Oliver, CEO at Youth Sport Trust, said: “It’s more important than ever to inspire children and young people, supported by schools and their parents, to be more active. National School Sports Week provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to find an activity they love so they begin to feel the benefits of an active lifestyle.

“At a time when too many children and young people have poor wellbeing, are distracted by digital devices, or lack the resilience to cope with the demands of life, we need more parents and educators to be aware of the daily recommendations and the essential role physical activity plays in tackling these social problems.

“The week itself runs alongside the kick off of the men’s EUROs, and so we’ve teamed up with Sports Direct’s Monster Kick About campaign to inspire children to play fun, football based mash-up games like foot tennis, foot mini-golf and even football athletics!

“Schools are key to getting children moving and with the general election now less than a month away, we hope politicians will prioritise the role of physical activity and sport in schools, we must never forget movement is fundamental to normal growth and development. Active and well schools create healthy and happy learners while sport can be a powerful antidote to the social and cultural gaps created by disadvantage.”

National School Sports Champion, Sir Mo Farah, said: “I’m really excited for National School Sports Week and getting as many young people involved as possible.

“We have an amazing summer of sport ahead of us with the EUROs and of course the Olympic and Paralympic Games which I know will inspire young people in the same way they inspired me as a kid.

“Over 4,000 schools have signed up already, but with one week to go we’d like to get as many schools from across the country involved as we can and ensure that every young person gets active for at least 60 minutes a day.”

Now in its 18th year, National School Sports Week has been integral to the promotion of physical education (PE), physical activity, and school sport, helping to nurture youngsters to achieve their full potential. Participation in National School Sports Week is open to all, including schools, families and organisations.

Schools can sign up to receive free resources to facilitate participation in Monster Kickabout football mash up versions of activities such as golf, tennis and rugby. Alongside this, Youth Sport Trust is providing ideas, tips and resources on our website to help families become more active every day.

Broadcaster Steve Backshall, GP and Wellbeing Expert Dr Radha Modgil and swimmer Michael Gunning are just some of the celebrities who have announced their support for the campaign, with many more getting involved during the week itself.

Liverpool School Sports Partnership (LSSP) is taking part in the week. Jay Watkinson, events manager and school games organiser at LSSP, said: “We are thrilled to be taking part in National School Sports Week. Our schedule is jam-packed with exciting activities, including rugby and football for both boys and girls, as well as rounders and netball.

 “At LSSP, we are passionate about sport and physical activity. We are proud to work with schools from across the city and deliver unique opportunities for all children, ensuring they can participate in a variety of sports which help them stay active for at least 60 minutes a day.”

As part of the week-long celebration, the charity is also welcoming back Sports Star Friday, inviting everyone to dress as their favourite sporting hero or sport whilst raising money to give more young people access to the lifechanging benefits of PE, sport and play.

To get involved in National School Sports Week, simply head to the Youth Sport Trust website and sign up today.

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