@ProgSports – PRIMARY school pupils in Staffordshire are taking part in a unique activity project this Autumn aimed at reducing stress, encouraging physical activity and helping them to make better food choices with @bearsnacksuk and @coopuk
The collaboration between Progressive Sports – a UK-wide sports company who aim to inspire and encourage children to be physically active – healthy kids’ food firm BEAR and the Co-Op is a 12-week programme which has already been launched in three schools in Staffordshire, Churchfield and Gentleshaw primaries in Rugeley, plus Holly Grove Primary in Burntwood.
Called ‘Active & Healthy Lives Intervention’, the initiative will also show youngsters how physical activity can aid their mental health, with one in six children likely to have a mental health problem, according to national charity The Children’s Society.
The scheme is being targeted at children teachers feel would particularly benefit.
Eddie Ray is founder and managing director of Progressive Sports – which has its headquarters in Staffordshire. He is looking forward to delivering the exercise part of the programme.
“We are trying to inspire and encourage children to be physically active,” he said.
“Physical exercise at this early age is fundamental. Schools, families and everybody else have been through difficult times with Covid. Children are more stressed than they were previously. Physical activity is a great way to support your mind and wellbeing.”
The ground-breaking scheme will include six weeks of 45-minute classes provided to groups of 15 children by Progressive Sports.
Children in key stages one and two will then have an activity booklet to complete with their family at home, with videos and resources provided to help get parents involved.
A healthy choices nutrition workshop is being provided by The Co-Op and participating children will get a goodie bag at the end of the project which will include a water bottle, sports equipment, recipe cards and healthy snacks provided by sponsors.
Now organisers would like to hear from more schools who feel some of their children may get a lot out of the programme.
“We hope that schools across the area will feel that our 12-week programme could help children who might have particularly suffered with their physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.”
The UK Government announced extra funding for schools in the UK earlier this year to help deliver PE to youngsters. Each primary school will receive some of the £320m which has been set aside and Eddie has stressed the importance of schools spending their cash wisely.
He said: “PE in schools has moved on so much over the past few years and there is much more awareness of the positive effect that taking part in activity has on children; sport can help with general wellbeing, communication and anger and, after a fantastic summer of sports with the football European Championships, Olympic Games in Tokyo and now teenager Emma Raducanu making history in the tennis US Open, there are so many positive role models for our youngsters to look up to.
“As long as the activity is engaging and varied, plus as inclusive as possible – and our coaches at Progressive Sports are fully trained to deliver this – then it is of great benefit to everyone involved.”
The ‘Active & Healthy Lives Intervention’ scheme is available to schools for £350.