Telegraph Sport campaign wins community sport pledge

The Government has promised to prioritize the reopening of community sports if lockdown measures are eased after Wednesday night’s mounting support for telegraph sportsKeep Kids Active campaign.

addressing telegraph sports‘s Five Key Questions, a joint statement by the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, outlined the vital importance of exercise and promised that “gyms and community sports facilities” would be a national priority as soon as possible .

A wave of support for the campaign followed from leading athletes, politicians, sports administrators and governing bodies including Lord Coe, Laura Kenny, Baroness Campbell and the Youth Sports Trust.

Coe, the two-time Olympic 1,500m champion and President of World Athletics, emphasized that “it becomes a habit to get kids active and involved in the sport in their formative years” and called for “a more structured approach and a stronger one in those years commitment to sport”.

Kenny, whose son Albie is among the millions of children whose sporting activities have suddenly been suspended, stressed their unwavering support and also the vital importance of children staying active during another indefinite lockdown.

telegraph sports launched its campaign last year and is now urging the government as most children are back out of school for a long time:

  1. Implement a mandatory virtual physical education curriculum.
  2. Create a central online hub of age-related activities and parenting advice.
  3. Prioritize opening activities for children at the earliest possible time.
  4. Provide a plan to make physical education equal to core subjects when schools return.
  5. Open school facilities as community centers during the holidays to close the social gap.

Lockdown guidelines in Scotland have allowed under-12s to continue playing sports and socializing outdoors, but in England children must follow the same lockdown rules as adults.

telegraph sports calls for a sustainable national plan to prioritize physical activity for children, not only during lockdown but also when schools return and rules are relaxed. The campaign was backed on Wednesday by two former sports ministers, Tracey Crouch and Gerry Sutcliffe, as well as a number of influential MPs and athletes.

“The Telegraph rightly focuses on the importance of keeping kids active,” Crouch said. “Exercise promotes both physical and mental well-being – habits of lifelong activity are formed in their early years.”

Sutcliffe said that “children need exercise to support their physical development and reduce stress” and urged the government to do so telegraph sports‘s requests.

Jonathan Edwards, the world record holder in the triple jump, said the nation needed “to pay much more attention to the health of our children” and that he was “delighted to support this important campaign”.

Ben Bradley, leader of the all-party parliamentary group on sport, vowed to push for school sports facilities to be opened to communities if restrictions allow.

Other supporters include Olympic athlete Jo Pavey, English Football League chairman Rick Parry, Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson, former Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore and British Athletics chief Jo Coates.

Research by the charity Made By Sport found a quarter of Britain’s sports clubs are at risk, and its chairman Justin King warned a generation would fail if community clubs were not given financial support. “Many simply will not survive a third lockdown – sadly, those in the UK’s most deprived areas are most at risk,” he said.

The Government has maintained its annual £320m commitment to the PE and Sport Premium for primary schools this school year and published its School Sport and Activities Action Plan in July 2019. A range of advice and online resources have also been produced by organizations including Sport England and the Youth Trust.

“We recognize the importance of exercise for the health and well-being of young people, while staying safe at home,” a government spokesman said. For this reason, outdoor exercise within households or with another person from another household or your support bubble close to you is still allowed once a day.

“Sport England, as part of its ‘Join the Movement’ campaign, has partnered with the Department for Education to provide a range of online resources to promote advice and support to encourage pupils to stay active before, during and after the school day.” Telegraph Sport campaign wins community sport pledge

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