Bedfordshire children to receive Activity Packs to tackle inactivity levels
Posted: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 11:39
- The aim of the Activity Packs is to try and minimize the impact Covid-19 is having on physical activity engagement of children from excluded/hard to reach groups in Bedfordshire.
- In total 1,185 packs have been funded by team BEDS&LUTON and their key partners across Luton, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire
- The Activity Packs will be given to children who are in the most need in of support during these unprecedented times, the opportunity to have fun and stay active whilst staying safe.
Team BEDS&LUTON is working with Luton, Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Council to distribute and support children in most need during the coronavirus outbreak with age appropriate Activity Packs across the county. The packs contain practical examples of ways to stay active, along with items to help people take part in physical activity more easily and to maintain positive mental health.
The packs designed for the younger children include a skipping rope, foam dice, hula hoop, foam balls, rubber bats, frisbee and bean bags.
For the older children the packs include a variety of items ranging from a football, pedometer, frisbee, resistance band, dice, juggling balls, ankle skip, skipping rope, cats cradle and friendship bracelet making kit
The Chief Medical Officer's guidance recommends 60 minutes of activity a day for children, but with limited school access and social distancing measures preventing most organised sport from taking place, extra efforts are needed to maintain activity levels. Previously, around two-thirds of children were undertaking the government's recommended 60 minutes of activity every day. However, during the lockdown period, activity levels have decreased. Now, 43% of children are either doing no activity or less than half an hour each day.*
"We know there are key areas of the county who have struggled during lockdown and that's why we've partnered with the local Councils to fund and distribute 1,185 age appropriate Activity Packs. We want to help those children from excluded/hard to reach groups, to minimise the impact Covid -19 is having on their physical activity levels. We are hoping these packs are just the start and we would like to distribute more to other disadvantaged groups in the future" explains Clare Fitzboydon – Director at team BEDS&LUTON.
"As well as the benefits of physical activity on mental health, all evidence states that children with poor physical literacy have poorer academic attainment. It is therefore so important to engage children in physical activity before they return to school to help them with the process of reintegrating back into life in the classroom. Children need to start working on their gross and fine motor skills over the summer so they are able to concentrate in class, write and take part in classroom activities. The health benefits alone should be enough to elevate the importance of being physically active given that improving health and fitness and reducing obesity levels all play a crucial part in fighting the coronavirus." explains Gill Morrow – PE, School Sport & School Games Manager, team BEDS&LUTON
The packs were put together at Ark-Handling House in Wilstead, Bedford. "Our team has been very proud to be associated with this local community project" said Neil Horton Sales & Marketing Director. They will be distributed across the county over the next two weeks by teams of volunteers.
For more information about tackling inactivity levels in Bedfordshire please visit www.teambedsandluton.co.uk
*Source: Sport England 2020