An annual campaign designed to encourage children to be active is encouraging schools to hold a sports day later this month.
National School Sport Week will take place from 19–25 June, under the banner ‘Together Again’, in celebration of the fact that children can play together once more.
Organised by children’s charity, the Youth Sport Trust (YST), the campaign has so far seen 1,140 schools sign up to take part, including Stroud High School.
“On the Youth Sport Trust’s National School Sport Week, we want to shine a spotlight on PE and school sport and ensure our pupils have an amazing experience on this important week,” said June Fletcher, a PE teacher at the school.
“The physical and mental benefits that sport has brought throughout this difficult time in the world is phenomenal.”
A recent YouGov poll, commissioned by the YST, found more than four-fifths of parents echoing Fletcher’s sentiments, with 81% agreeing that cuts to PE, sport and break time in schools were likely to have a negative impact on pupil wellbeing.
Sport-phobic children may be encouraged to learn that the campaign’s definition of ‘sports day’ ventures far beyond the usual associations of running, jumping and throwing. Among events proposed so far are codebreaking sports, team building activities, and getting moving under a disco dome.
Pussycat Doll, Kimberly Wyatt, is developing a special TikTok dance routine for the week for young people to try out, while she and former Newsround presenter, Leah Boleto, are among campaign supporters asking young people to Pause to Play at 9.30am on 21 June.
The following day will see the YST hold a football festival, backed by the Football Association, bidding to speed up equal access to the game in schools.
Overall, say National School Sport Week organisers, the aim is to “encourage young people and schools to connect in person again, switch off devices, and pause lessons for some play”.
This year’s plans are in stark contrast to last, when the event was retitled National School Sport Week at Home and participants joined in virtual sporting challenges.
Sign up for National School Sport Week 2021, as well as for further information and free resources on how to plan an event