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SCHOOL SPORT EXPERTS BUILD MOMENTUM FOR CHILDREN’S PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Children and young people across the country are benefitting from better access to sports facilities and a new online hub of PE resources, thanks to actions taken by a cross-government group of experts.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston today co-chaired the second government roundtable with leaders and experts from the school sport sector.

They discussed the progress made so far with re-engaging children with sport and activities since the easing of national restrictions and confirmed they will work with sport organisations and sector bodies on a longer-term approach to PE and school sport that puts children’s physical and mental health firmly at the heart of recovery plans.

It builds on the measures agreed during the first joint roundtable in March, which resulted in the launch of the Active Recovery Hub, containing hundreds of activities from over 40 organisations – letting schools and parents know what is available for children based on age, time of day and more.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

“Today’s discussion gives us an opportunity to look at what more we can do to bring schools and sporting bodies together, to ensure all children can be active and take part in the sports they enjoy, as an important part of their development and recovery from the pandemic.

“We have invested £10 million to improve access to school sport facilities, and we will also work with schools to support them to provide more sporting activities for pupils such as sports clubs, summer activities and more.”

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“We know that physical education is vital to a child’s mental health and wellbeing, which is why we are working closely with our school sports partners to implement the new School Sport and Activity Action Plan.

“We are determined to place sport and physical activity at the heart of our national recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Ministers also committed to updating the School Sport and Activity Action Plan later this year, a vision for young people’s physical activity first published in 2019 through which significant work has already been done to improve children and young people’s physical activity and access to sport and facilities.

This includes investments to improve access to school sport facilities; funding improvements to make Physical Education more accessible for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities; building on core content for physical activity in the health and relationships school curriculum; and working across the sector to produce targeted videos, guidance and support to continue to prioritise PE, sport and physical activity.

Within this, the Government has invested more than £10 million to support existing school sport and swimming facilities in England, distributed through Sport England. This targeted investment to selected schools builds on funding to help schools open their facilities outside of school hours and encourage pupils to be more physically active. It is also helping to buy equipment for pupils with disabilities to take part in sports.

The update to the School Sport and Action Plan will be published later this year.

The Active Recovery Hub includes hundreds of activities for children and young people of all ages.

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