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Children and young people

Building positive attitudes to sport and physical activity in children from an early age can help them to feel more motivated, confident and able to get active throughout their life.

At a glance

Getting young people active

There are currently seven million children aged five to 15 in England and just over half are not doing the recommended daily amount of exercise.

The Chief Medical Officer in England recommends that children do at least 60 minutes of activity every day. For one reason or another, this isn’t the case for the majority of young people.

Building positive attitudes

We want children and young people to enjoy all the benefits that come from being active. That's why we’re investing more in children and young people from the age of five to build positive attitudes to sport and activity as the foundations of an active life. 

A group of children in a sports hall.

Physical literacy 

We know that physically literate children and young people are more likely to be active. Physical literacy has five elements – enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge. Each one is key in getting more children and young people active – the more elements present, the more active a child or young person is likely to be. 

The role of families

Our insight tells us that families, and particularly parents and caregivers, play a key role in shaping a child’s attitudes and behaviours.

That’s why we want our Families Fund to support families on low incomes to allow their children to experience the benefits of getting active, including improved mental and social wellbeing and individual development.

As part of this process, we’re working with over 30 nationwide projects that make experiences of sport and physical activity fun and enjoyable – and bring value to children and their wider family.

A girl hitting a tennis ball with her racket.

Our investment

As part of our work to encourage children and young people to get active, we’re investing in new and existing areas of work between 2017-2021. The main areas are:

  • A programme of teacher training, which will be offered free of charge to teachers in every secondary school in England by 2020
  • Improving the early experience that children get at school
  • Continued support for Satellite Clubs 
  • Recognising the importance of transitions between both primary and secondary and then onto further and higher education, with an increased focus on supporting inactive children and students to take up sport and exercise.

Our strategy – Uniting the Movement

Every child and young person has the right to be active, to benefit from being active in a safe, positive and trusted environment, and to have an equal chance to achieve their potential.

Positive experiences at an early age help build the foundations for an active life. If children and young people have experiences that feel fun, positive and give them a sense of confidence, they’re more likely to want to be active in the future.

That’s why providing positive experiences for children and young people is one of the five big issues being tackled by Uniting the Movement.

Learn more about our Uniting the Movement strategy

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