Building on all the innovative ideas that Active Partnerships have been implementing locally in partnership with School Games Organisers since the start of lockdown the virtual school games held across the country have been a resounding success.
The last few weeks have seen Active Partnerships working with local partners to put on virtual School Games encouraging schools and individual young people to complete different personal challenges covering a wide range of fun activities using equipment you can find at home including socks and cereal boxes and the interest in the games across the country has been amazing.
Active Sussex have had a storming success with their virtual School Games programme with nearly 34,000 people taking part in over the last 7 weeks across 411 schools. Each Monday morning during the Summer Term, a new sport has been launched, made up of four physical or technical sporting personal challenges, which can be done from the living room, garden, or school. Young people are encouraged to practice, train and improve, before submitting their best scores in each challenge on Fridays. Scores are added up for each school total, enabling teams to compete against all of the other schools in the county. A case study has been produced to explain the process to organising the success games.
Tess Valley School Games finals week finished last week involving 8 challenges and over 25,000 children competing in the virtual games. The South West also saw an amazing uptake with 10,000 different children taking part in Active Cornwall's Games, whilst Active Devon has also had great interest and are encouraging the whole family to get involved in the final challenges that are being run throughout the summer holidays.
Tim Marrion, Active Cornwall said;
The Cornwall Virtual School Games took us into new grounds of IT and excel knowledge and reached new audiences the traditional School Games could never reach. Schools really engaged and got behind the Games with teachers taking part to motivate and engage their students. The amount of positive interaction with parents and guardians was unbelievable and raised the awareness of the School Games like nothing could have before. Integrating the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’ helped schools have week-long focused learning on each of the ways, so important during these unprecedented times.
Some partnerships chose to focus on co-ordinating a whole day of activities with local activity providers, for example Northumberland /Tyne and Wear and Lancashire Sport, who have also been posting activities to try before the big day.
Others including Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport and Team Beds and Luton, to name just a few, organised a week long virtual games to coincide with National School Sport Week allowing young people to represent their school whether they are still at home or have moved back into the school environment.
Charlie Crane, Active Partnerships National Team said;
We were excited to be supporting this year’s National School Sport Week and feel this year’s campaign was more important than ever as we continue to support children and young people, their families and communities find ways to remain active during the Covid-19 pandemic. We also feel this is an opportunity to raise awareness of the important role PE, school sport and physical activity can play in a school’s recovery curriculum.
Although the latest Sport England research into activity levels amongst children and young people during the Covid-19 demonstrates that children are doing some activity, only 19% of parents surveyed said the children in their households were meeting the CMO guidelines and doing an hour a day. Research also indicates that inequalities have become greater as a consequence of the pandemic. We therefore welcome the range of fun activity ideas and challenges being promoted by Active Partnerships over the last few months which include the virtual school games.
To find out more about the Schools Games in your area and ideas of other activities that you can try at home contact your local Active Partnership whose contact details can be found here https://www.activepartnerships.org/active-partnerships