By Laura Taylor, Jan 5 2021 05:07PM
A leading youth charity today urged schools not to neglect the physical well-being of children during the new lockdown.
While many classroom lessons will be moving online during the latest restrictions, the Youth Sport Trust is worried that youngsters’ physical activity will decline further.
Chief executive Ali Oliver said: “As millions of young people across the country now move back to remote learning, the continuation of physical education and daily physical activity will be vital in supporting their wellbeing.
“We know that young people’s activity levels plummeted during the first lockdown, and this has contributed to some of the issues they are now facing – from mental health difficulties and low levels of physical fitness to developmental delays.
“Schools have done so much in overcoming impossible challenges in the last ten months to keep children safe and able to learn. Over the coming weeks a virtual physical education curriculum focussed on recovery should be a priority. This could be a game changer for young people’s wellbeing.
The Youth Sport Trust’s Well School movement and its After School Sports Club have been set up to help schools and parents while its team of athlete mentors are providing online mentoring through the Active in Mind mental wellbeing programme.
Ali Oliver added: “In 2019, government set out the initial stages of a School Sport and Activity Action Plan which was due to be developed further last year.
“This current crisis has made the need for a long-term national strategy to tackle inactivity and the decline in young people’s wellbeing through sport and improved physical education all the more urgent.”
The charity’s free support for schools and families to continue with PE, sport and physical activity at home and in school can be accessed at www.youthsporttrust.org/coronavirus-support.