Flixton Girls School, part of the Healthy Learning Trust, plays host to #NSSW 2019 launch

Posted at 3:36 pm on 26th June, 2019


Flixton Girls School, part of the Healthy Learning Trust, plays host to #NSSW 2019 launch

Thousands of schools mark YST National School Sport Week 2019

YST National School Sport Week commenced on Monday 24th June with a Five Ways to Wellbeing Festival at Flixton Girls School – part of the Healthy Learning Trust, bringing together schools from the surrounding area.

Thousands of schools, are joining a national campaign led by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST) calling for greater awareness of the importance of sport and Physical Education to young people’s wellbeing.

YST National School Sport Week 2019 runs from 24th to 28th June will see schools well as sporting organisations, charities and businesses putting on events, sports days and talks.

The week is being themed around the Five Ways to Wellbeing – focusing on how PE and school sport get people active, connecting, giving back, taking notice and learning. This is reflected in the Healthy Learning Trust’s Five Pathways to Well-being & Scholarship.

Tackling a lack of awareness

Only 17.5% of young people are engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity for the 60 minutes every day recommended by the Chief Medical Officer, according to Sport England’s most recent Active Lives survey.

New research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Youth Sport Trust, reveals that 68% of UK adults either believe the target is less than 60 minutes or do not know. The research was based on an online sample of 2,071 UK adults. It found that:

-       Almost half (49%) thought children and young people should engage in less than 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day

-       Only one in four (25%) correctly said 60 minutes

-       The average, amongst UK adults who were able to give an answer, was 46 minutes.

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Building a wellbeing legacy in schools

YST Wellbeing ambassador Ben Smith, the man who ran 401 marathons in 401 days, announced details of how his next challenge will aim to build a wellbeing legacy in schools. Thousands of young people will get the opportunity to take part in the challenge though an education programme developed in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust which will aim to inspire and build awareness of the importance of physical activity, and its role in nurturing wellbeing.

Ben’s USA 2020 Challenge will support the work of his 401 Foundation and YST. It will see him run a marathon in every US state capital and cycle between each one – covering 18,500 miles in 104 days and finishing during next year’s YST National School Sport Week.

As well as thousands of schools, the week is also being supported by charities including the Jo Cox Foundation, Association for PE, Manchester City FCs City in the Community, and governing bodies of sport including Swim England, Boccia England and England Netball.


Julie Hazeldine, CEO of the Healthy Learning Trust said:

“The mission of the Healthy Learning Trust is to promote scholarship through our 5 health and well-being pathways. When I heard Ben’s story through the YST I wanted to help inspire our young people to try developing a more positive and confident approach to physical activity.

I am delighted that Ben and The 401 Challenge together with the YST chose Flixton Girls School as the venue for the launch of the new 401 challenge and of School Sports week 2019.  The sports leaders from a Flixton and from BTH did a tremendous job in coaching our primary school Year 6 pupils in 4 new activities that promote the 5 pathways. The year 6 playground leaders took some fabulous resources and activities back to their own schools to spread the message. Thank you to the children from Kings Road, Acre Hall, English Martyrs, Gorse Hill and St Mary’s Primary Schools for being so brilliant.”

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Ben Smith of the 401 Foundation said:

“My experience of PE at school was scary. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, like I would never fit in, that I wouldn’t enjoy it and I put so many barriers in place as an excuse not to exercise. Knowing what I know now, this was down to my experience of sport and not having many options to choose from and thinking I needed to be the best. Having found sport later in life, I can now see the power it has to not only build a person’s soul but also the benefits it has on confidence, self-esteem and our overall mental wellbeing. It’s vitally important that every young person has opportunity to enjoy what sport has to offer.

Schools and organisations like FGS and the Healthy Learning Trust are a vital part of harnessing the power of physical activity at a grass roots level to build a wider understanding of wellbeing and health.”

YST Chief Executive Ali Oliver said:

“We’ve seen a worrying trend in recent years of a decline in young people’s physical activity, and a squeeze on time allocated to good quality Physical Education.

“With our new research showing that most people do not know how much physical activity children should be aiming for, it has never been more important to raise awareness of why this is so important.

“Our work with schools across the country all year round shows the power of sport and play to improve young people’s confidence, tackle stress and equip them with the skills to succeed in life.

“It is really encouraging that so many schools and organisations, such as the Healthy Learning Trust are joining together this YST National School Sport Week to champion the vital importance of PE, school sport and physical activity for every young person. Thank you to all of the schools and partners for making the week such a huge celebration of the positive power of sport for good.”

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For more information about the Healthy Learning Trust visit www.healthylearningtrust.org.uk

For more information about the week visit www.youthsporttrust.org/nssw.