Thousands of school children across Somerset and Manchester are set to benefit from £180,000 of National Lottery investment from Sport England into Fit for Sport’s 'Engage to Compete' programme.
Sport England has commissioned Fit for Sport to explore how schools in Manchester and Somerset can encourage more young people to play sport and get involved in the Sainsbury’s School Games.
Set across four levels, the School Games is fully inclusive and will increase the opportunities for young people to take part in sport across the school year via local class versus class sport sessions, school versus school competitions and county-wide sports festivals.
Levels of participation by school children in Somerset and Manchester in the event are amongst the lowest in the country.
Launching in the summer term, 'Engage to Compete' will support schools in getting more competition into their daily school lives, benefitting over 9,000 pupils.
Fit for Sport specialists will train and mentor teachers and support staff to provide pupils with better sporting opportunities. The aim is both to give children access to positive and frequent physical activity and school sport sessions, while developing their confidence and skills so they can take part in competition and represent their school at the Sainsbury’s School Games.
Sport England Director of Community Sport Mike Diaper said: “The Sainsbury's School Games is a great way for young people to discover new sports in friendly environment. It is important that we create more opportunities for young people in Manchester and Somerset to take part in this exciting event and I am confident that Fit for Sport will help us do this. We hope that the children taking part in these events will come away with some fantastic memories and a desire to make sport a part of their everyday lives.”
Fit for Sport CEO- Founder Dean Horridge says ‘We are really excited about this project and leading this new approach to engaging all children. The key to improving our nation’s health is to engage and educate children from a young age, by providing school Teachers and Support staff with the Training, Resources, and on-going support we will be able to increase activity levels and ensure increased competition within schools. An important part of this project will be our ability to engage parents, guardians, and carers in supporting their children’s development and educate them on leading a healthy lifestyle.
Over £128m of Lottery and Government funding is being invested to support the School Games over the next 3 years.