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15 Jan 2021 134

UK Coaching’s response to latest figures on activity levels of children and young people

Coaches have been and will continue to be a support and an inspiration to our nation’s youth throughout this pandemic. It is imperative that sport and physical activity becomes a public health priority when restrictions are lifted so that our nation’s children and young people can quickly recover physically and mentally from the impact of the pandemic.

The latest Active Lives Children and Young People report published by Sport England shows that 2.3 million children and young people are inactive – doing less than half the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

The figures for the 2019/20 academic year – a 2.3% decline from the previous year – have clearly been compounded by three national lockdowns, where schools, outdoor sports clubs and indoor community sport and leisure facilities have had to close as a result of national restrictions.

Every child has the right to be active, and we need to ensure that when restrictions are lifted, community sport, school sport and physical education is prioritised, to help our nation’s youth recover, both physically and mentally.

Heather Douglas, UK Coaching's Head of Policy and Impact, said:

We know that during the lockdown many coaches have been working on the front line to help deliver community sessions and deliver sessions in schools and we celebrate their commitment to doing so. Coaches have also been quick to respond to different delivery styles and have been agile in embracing technology to keep sessions going and stay connected with the people they look after.

Every year, coaches dedicate over 200 million hours to help, support and inspire others to achieve their sport and physical activity goals.

Many are volunteers, driven by a love of sport and a desire to give something back to their community. UK Coaching’s own research has shown the positive impact of coaching on individuals and communities.

Through coaching, people become better at the sport or activity, but they also develop important skills in other areas of life too. They develop friendships and social skills. They become more confident and resilient. They lead happier and healthier lives, and this is true of both adults and children.

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