Funded by Sport England and delivered by Children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, the School Games programme has helped up to 211,000 children and young people to improve their mental wellbeing through being more physically active and developing life skills this year.
The School Games has received over £2 million in funding from Sport England, to harness the positive impact of the Commonwealth Games through collaboration with visits from past athletes and excursions to activity centres.
Nearly 2000 events have taken place across the country with more expected after the close of Birmingham 2022. Young people facing inequality is a focus. Research carried out by Sport England found there were 94,000 fewer active children and young people in 2020-21 compared to the year before the COVID-19 pandemic with those from less affluent families remaining the least active, and this gap has widened since the start of the pandemic.
As a past competitor, I know that a ‘home’ international sporting event, such as Birmingham 2022 has the potential to excite a nation. However, it needs to be brought directly into local communities to truly inspire us
The programme has actively engaged with Special Education Needs or disability (SEND) and from Ethnically Diverse Communities (14% and 16% respectively), driving equal opportunities to access sport and physical activity
Ali Oliver MBE, Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust said: “The level of participation so far has been fantastic, but we know there is more work to do if we are to support children to develop healthy habits for life once the excitement of the Commonwealth Games is over. Enabling every child and young person to do 60 active minutes a day, the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended daily amount of physical activity for 5–16-year-olds, needs to be a national priority.”
You might also be interested in: How can trips encourage more enthusiasm for sport
Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of Sport England, said: “We’re delighted to see how many children and young people have participated in the Birmingham 2022-inspired events so far, with those partners accessing the additional funding now able better to target and engage children and young people who would benefit most from opportunities to be active”.
Jenny Wallwork, ex-Commonwealth games athlete and Youth Sport Trust athlete mentor, commented; “As a past competitor, I know that a ‘home’ international sporting event, such as Birmingham 2022 has the potential to excite a nation. However, it needs to be brought directly into local communities to truly inspire us.
“I’m proud to have been involved with the School Games’ work in taking the inspiration into schools across the country and I know that the positive physical benefits of this will be felt by the children there for years to come.”
To find out more about the School Games, and the positive impact they provide CYP here: www.yourschoolgames.com/
Main image: School Games swimming festival (Credit PPAUK)
About School Games
The School Games, which is funded by Sport England National Lottery funding and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, is a government led programme designed to deliver competitive school sport to all young people.
The network currently services more than 18,800 registered schools who compete across School Games’ competitions.
For more information about the School Games network please visit: www.yourschoolgames.com/
About United by Birmingham 2022
United by Birmingham 2022 supports and highlights projects delivered by charities and community organisations. This can include projects improving skills, offering training and development, providing volunteering resource, benefitting the environment, encouraging sport participation or delivering youth engagement activities. Successful projects can use the official community programme logo to amplify their activity.
For more information about the United by Birmingham 2022 programme www.birmingham2022.com/united/