Activity in young people in Telford and Wrekin is increasing.
The number of young people classed as “active” in the borough has increased by 15.8 per cent in the past 12 months. Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week in and out of school means you are “active”.
Also, the number of young people classed as “inactive” in the borough has decreased by 13.7 per cent in the past 12 months. Doing less than 30 minutes activity a week means you are “inactive.”
This is according to the latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey from Sport England.
This is wonderful news.
Encouraging activity in young people is important to us. Developing the habit at a young age is essential for carrying activity into adulthood.
In the past twelve months we have worked closely with communities and schools in to do this.
The Daily Mile
The Daily Mile is something that over 39 early years and schools settings now do. This is an initiative where young people walk or jog a mile every day ideally.
Almost every school we have worked with has told us how the Daily Mile has made a huge difference to pupils. Pupils get fitter from regular activity, but they also concentrate better in lessons.
As part of our Let’s Get Telford Active Campaign we helped fund four new all-weather tracks in schools. Each school now uses them for regular activity sessions.
Holiday activities and eat well
The summer can be a difficult time for some groups of people. The school holidays often places families under significant financial pressure. This is because families have increased costs in providing healthy meals, childcare and giving their children things to do.
We worked with 11 different community groups to put on free holiday clubs. Each club provided healthy meals and kept young people active in the summer holidays.
Moving more and sitting less in school is something we are trying to achieve through the Active 30:30 pilot, which is backed by the Youth Sport Trust.
Eleven schools are taking part. Each school ensures pupils do 30 minutes of activity each day outside of normal scheduled P.E and looks at how they can help to encourage another 30 minutes to be done outside of school with friends, family and community groups.
This is the Youth Sport Trust’s approach to getting children moving more and sitting less at school. They are doing this by taking breaks in classes so that children regularly get up out of their seats. Also, schools look at their classrooms and classes and design them in ways that encourages movement.
We will be catching up with schools later in the year to see how things have gone and to help share good practice.
Telford Schools Challenge
The Telford Schools Challenge is running now and into next year. We are inviting all schools to take part in a friendly challenge to see who can be the most active.
In November the competition was to see who could run the most miles. Schools ran or walked around 150 miles this November. Proving that weather is no barrier to being active!
The school that ran the most miles was St. Patricks Primary school. They ran nearly 50 miles – which is more than 1 mile a day.
In February we will competing to see who can do the most 10 minute shakeups. With another challenge to follow in the spring.
Our community helping to encourage activity in young people in Telford
We want to encourage those who are inactive to be active. Because this is where the biggest health gains can be made.
With the help of our vibrant communities we can deliver schemes that do this. We are very lucky to have people in our community who care and think that health and wellbeing needs to be everybody’s business.
The challenge now is to see if the number of young people in Telford and Wrekin can get higher.
By Mandy Sznober
Health Improvement Practitioner – Children and Families