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New funding for School Games to reach disadvantaged young people

Investment will help deliver United By Birmingham 2022's mission to improve health and wellbeing of young people.

1st March 2022

A funding boost of £2 million will help the School Games help more young people to get active than ever before.

As part of our work to support the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we’re investing £2m of National Lottery funds into helping the 450 School Games Organisers reach 19,000 schools across the country.

The School Games will be delivering the United by Birmingham 2022’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of young people, using inspiration from this summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Primary school students take part in an 'Active Assembly' led by a Commonwealth Games athlete as part of a School Games initiative

Each organiser will use local data and insight to identify the inequalities faced by young people in different areas and ensure those who need it most, get help to be active.

Our own Active Lives Survey data shows there were 94,000 fewer active children and young people in the last academic year than in the year prior to the pandemic.

It also shows the young people from less affluent families were the least active, so our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth is pleased to see the investment being made.

“Our research shows that giving children positive and fun experiences of sport and activity at a young age builds lifelong healthy habits,” he said.

“And the joy and excitement around the Commonwealth Games is sure to inspire children all over the country.

“The next step is to take that inspiration and turn it into participation.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the School Games to ensure that all children have the opportunity to get active, helping our future generation to be happier and healthier.” 

The investment was launched today by a nationally available ‘active assembly’ at St Margaret’s Primary School in Anfield, with past and future Commonwealth Games athletes in attendance.

"The joy and excitement around the Commonwealth Games is sure to inspire children all over the country. The next step is to take that inspiration and turn it into participation."

Tim Hollingsworth

Chief executive, Sport England

They took 100 Year 5 and 6 pupils through exercises inspired by Birmingham 2022, before visiting classrooms to share their own positive experiences of sport and physical activity.

The assembly is now available to for any school to access for future use and Ali Oliver, CEO of the Youth Sport Trust, who deliver the School Games, is excited by what the investment can help achieve.

“It’s amazing that the School Games will be able to further its existing offer to local schools thanks to the boost behind United by Birmingham 2022 inspired activities,” she said.  

“Young people, especially those facing inequalities, need the support of physical activity more than ever after the pandemic.

“With the inspiration from the upcoming Games plus the additional funding from Sport England, we are able to give even more children and young people the opportunity to participate in physical activity and to develop their skills and improve health and wellbeing.”

Para-swimmer Grace Harvey, who is expected to compete at Birmingham 2022 this year, was one of the athletes visiting St Margaret’s Primary School today and is keen to help others have the same positive experience of sport that she has.

“From a young age, I have felt the benefits of keeping active, in my case with swimming,” said Grace.

“With a home Commonwealth Games on the horizon, I want to use my experience to help motivate children to get involved with sport at a young age.

“The Active Assembly and the wider work the School Games is doing is a great platform to reach all young people across the country at once.”

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