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Encouraging physical activity in younger children

Published: 2 Jan 2016 00:01

Glasgow project to get kids on the move.

A new scheme to encourage physical activity among young children will be funded by the Scottish Government.

The Active Early Years project, a collaboration between the Winning Scotland Foundation and registered social landlord ng homes, will run in North Glasgow. It will aim to find ways to get three to seven-year-olds to take part in physical activity and sport.

The Scottish Government is providing £30,000 towards the project, with ng homes providing further investment.

Active Early Years will be a continuation of the Winning Scotland Foundation's work to create the habit of physical activity in young children as they move from nursery to primary school. The organisation will work with ng homes regeneration team to engage with parents, schools, clubs and community groups. They will develop ways to encourage physical activity and make it fun and engaging for the children.

The project will be based on learning from other Winning Scotland Foundation projects, which have been supported by the Scottish Government.

This includes Active Families, which was a collaboration between NHS Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council and engaged children and parents in active play and games at nursery schools. Edinburgh PE Project meanwhile saw a focus on creating a culture of daily activity in primary schools, engaging parents through the idea of physical homework.

Independent evaluation of these projects showed increases in fitness levels, PE skills and correlation to improved behaviour. Staff also reported greater confidence in delivering physical activity sessions.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:

"We know that if we can get children into the habit of being physically active they are far more likely to take that habit into older life. The earlier we can get them into the habit the better.

"Children who are physically active are happier, healthier and more likely to succeed at school.

"The Winning Scotland Foundation and their partners across Edinburgh and North Lanarkshire have run two successful pilot schemes that looked at ways to engage with schools, nurseries, parents and their children to come up with innovative ways of encouraging physical activity. The scheme in Glasgow will build on the learning and success of those schemes."

Morag Arnot, Executive Director of Winning Scotland Foundation said:

"Winning Scotland Foundation are pleased to have been awarded Scottish Government funding to support our work in north Glasgow.

"These funds will enable us to develop a programme that builds on our partnership work with ng homes and our learning from the 2014 Legacy Programme to support the physical development and activity levels of children aged three to seven years.

"This will include working with parents, families, carers, nurseries, schools, clubs and other community organisations. We want all young people to have opportunities to be active and healthy, and for their families to get involved too."

ng homes Chairperson, John Fury, said:

"We are delighted to work in partnership with Winning Scotland Foundation on the Active Early Years project. The project has an excellent 'fit' with many of our community sports and physical activity programmes.

"We believe that it is vitally important to engage young people at a very early age to support their long term development and we look forward to supporting and developing activities for nursery and primary school children in the north of Glasgow with the aim of encouraging them and their families to adopt healthier lifestyles."

Background:

For more information on ng homes visit: http://www.nghomes.net

For more information on Winning Scotland Foundation visit: http://www.winningscotlandfoundation.org/