Date Published: 19 December 2019
Research by Sport England has shown that children and young people in Rutland are significantly more active than the national average – and activity levels are increasing.
Rutland’s children also participate in more physical activity, on average, than neighbouring Leicester and the wider Leicestershire area, as reported by the latest Active Lives Children and Young People (ALCYP) survey.
The UK Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines recommend that children between the ages of 5 and 16 engage in moderate to vigorous intensity activity for an average of 60 minutes a day across the week. Physical activity can include sports such as football, table tennis and dance, as well as walking, using a scooter and cycling.
The ALCYP survey, carried out annually by Sport England, shows that between September 2018 and July 2019, 56.3% of children in Rutland achieved the recommended target. This is significantly higher than the national average of 46.8% and regional average of 51%. It also represents an increase of 15.3% in Rutland from the previous survey.
At the other end of the scale, Rutland also performed significantly better than the national and regional averages for less active children. Less active children are defined as those doing less than an average of 30 minutes physical activity a day. In Rutland, 20.1% of children and young people fell into this category, well below the national average of 29% and regional average of 25.2%. It also represents a 13.4% improvement in Rutland from the previous 12 months.
“We should be very proud that our young people are among the most active in the region and are more active than the national average. That said, we recognise there is still more to do to support children who remain less active, for whatever reason. Physical activity in young people is incredibly important. It can help to improve fitness, promote good health and boost self-esteem. It can also help children to develop social skills, make friends and reduce stress. Above all else, sport and physical activity are hugely enjoyable for children. It can set them up with healthy habits for life and be a great source of pleasure if continued on into adulthood.”
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure
There are lots of ways to get active in Rutland, and the Council does a great deal to help children and young people get into sports and exercise.
Active Rutland runs fun, child-specific activities throughout the year, while the Council-backed MyBike project continues to provide bikes free of charge for people who need them.
Active Rutland’s School Sports Partnership has also challenged schools to look at how they are working towards supporting the CMO guidelines. All of the schools involved have taken up the challenge, introducing a variety of initiatives to help young people be active more regularly.
This includes initiatives like the Daily Mile where children are encouraged to walk or run a mile a day around their school site. Physical Literacy programmes also support our youngest children in school improve their fundamental movement skills and a whole events calendar that caters for all year groups in a variety of different events and sports.
Find out more about Active Rutland and the availability of local sports and activities near you.
For more information about Rutland MYBIKE and the possibility of obtaining a free bicycle for your child, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.