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15 Jul 2016

New-look ukactive Kids board sets out children’s activity strategy
BY Jak Phillips

Fit for Sport’s Engage to Compete initiative is aimed at primary school children

Fit for Sport’s Engage to Compete initiative is aimed at primary school children

The ukactive Kids board has produced a new long-term strategy to tackle youth inactivity – a growing issue described as ‘a ticking time-bomb for the NHS.’

ukactive’s groundbreaking Generation Inactive report last year revealed that only half of seven-year-olds are meeting recommended physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes per day. The ukactive Kids board has now finalised its new strategy to get the nation’s children moving by engaging teachers, parents and policymakers to help deliver this mission.

The plan aims to support efforts to improve standards and regulation around quality assurance for children’s activity professionals, while developing and expanding relationships with Whitehall and government departments into specific projects. Driving for policy change also plays a big part.

Data capture and the use of research will also play a big part in the updated strategy – with the Board agreeing a strategy to align research programmes and work with government to ensure that schools are recording and analysing data on activity trends in children.

The board, which now includes representation from headteachers in both primary and secondary education, approved the plan presented by ukactive research director Dr Steven Mann, who is the executive lead on the programme at ukactive. Former ukactive Kids’ chair Dean Horridge was reinstated in this role, while David Lloyd Leisure’s Group Family Manager Sinead Johnson has taken the position of vice chair.

As part of the new plan, ukactive Kids will be broadening membership benefits and also working with individual schools and parents groups to ensure that physical activity is working across all areas of society.

ukactive Kids will retain its fundamental position that physical activity should be accessible to all children regardless of background, disability, gender or ability, and that the remit of ukactive Kids will stretch from the early years through to the teens.

The birth of ukactive Kids followed the transition of the Compass Group to ukactive in early 2015, and has since been consolidating its long-term strategy, which was today (15 July) agreed by the new board.

Dean Horridge, ukactive Kids chair said: “The plan we have signed off is an ambitious plan and – if we can achieve it – we will make a huge difference to physical activity levels of children in this country.

“We are at a critical juncture for this area of policy and research so it is important that we drive through with this agenda and ensure that we can work with the new government – as well as parents, teachers and other providers – to push this agenda and achieve the changes we need.”

Also announced was the inaugural ukactive Kids CEO Forum – to take place in September – to bring together the leaders of the major children’s activity providers into a powerful joined up voice.



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