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Sport and fitness for today’s youth

Dec 09/Jan 10 £2.75

Parents suffer ‘reality gap’ on kids’ fitness By Louise Cordell PARENTS are suffering from a ‘reality gap’ when it comes to their children’s fitness levels, according to new research from the British Heart Foundation. It found that although 71 per cent of parents think that their children are ‘active enough’, only 11 per cent are actually doing the recommended daily 60 minutes of physical activity. The findings have been released in the charity’s new Couch Kids report, which highlights how crucial physical activity is in tackling childhood obesity. It points out that while the number of obese children has risen since the mid 1990s, there have been no major changes in children’s activity levels. Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the BHF, said: “Mums and dads need to take off the blinkers about how active kids need to be in order to keep their hearts healthy. “Kids need to get moving more, yet we’ve been standing still for the last decade. Children aren’t really any more active than they were ten years ago.” The report also made a series of recommendations to schools, suggesting ways they can maximise the opportunities for children to keep active through the school day. It suggests that teachers should

encourage kids to be physically active at break times and that more opportunities should be provided outside lessons through extended schools. The report states: “School provision should explicitly recognise the diversity of provision and approaches needed to ensure that physical activity reaches as many young people as possible. In particular schools must demonstrate how they are meeting the needs of adolescent girls and the least active groups.” In its conclusions the report also praises the progress that has been made on developing schools travel plans in England, confirming that active transport can contribute to a more physically active profile across the whole day. It is now being recommended that government in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should aim to replicate this success and set targets for their own schools to develop similar plans. Peter Hollins, BHF chief executive, said: “While we shouldn’t underestimate the progress that has been made in some parts of the UK, such as the increase in PE hours taught in English schools, we need to move decisively and quickly to ensure that the current generation have the best chance of long and healthy lives.”

Teen girls ‘skipping meals regularly’ TEENAGE girls are regularly skipping up to two meals a day because they think they are overweight, according to a survey from the Schools Health Education Unit. The poll showed that a quarter of girls aged 14 and 15 miss breakfast, 22 per cent don’t eat lunch and one in ten of them often go without both meals. It revealed that most teenage girls believe that they are too heavy, even when they are actually a healthy weight or even underweight. Lennox Lewis appeared at the 28th Commonwealth Sports Awards to support the achievement of young athletes from around the world. The awards aim to honour the achievements of sportsmen and women and to encourage young people to aspire to greater heights. Winners included Usain Bolt and Stephanie Rice for Outstanding Male and Female Athlete and Sir Christopher Chataway was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The 18-year-old Manueli Tulo of Fiji was named Outstanding Young Achiever for his achievements in weightlifting and his plans to compete in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia.

More surprisingly, 40 per cent of younger girls, aged ten and 11, also thought they needed to lose weight. The report is based on answers from over 32,000 young people between the ages of ten and 15 from 361 schools across the UK.

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Table tennis scheme headed up by British number two By Louise Cordell A NEW school sports programme has been launched in South Yorkshire to give pupils the opportunity to learn table tennis skills from some of the country’s top coaches and players. The English Table Tennis Association is running coaching sessions for school children as part of the PE curriculum from its base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. The scheme is being headed up by 2012 medal hopeful, and British number two, Darius Knight and his doubles partner and current British number one Paul Drinkhall. Darius plays for Great Britain on the ITTF World Pro Tour, competes in the Spanish Superleague and is the three times national under-21 champion. He will lead the school sessions, supported by top ETTA coaches, teaching students key skills and techniques and passing on his tips and advice. Darius said: “I first started playing table tennis in London when I was

Contacts Group editor: Andrew Harrod – Tel: 01226 734639 Reporters: Louise Cordell – Tel: 01226 734694 Mary Ferguson – Tel: 01226 734712 Christina Eccles – Tel: 01226 734463 Dominic Musgrave – Tel: 01226 734407 Sales and marketing director: Tony Barry Sales and product manager: James Dickson Tel: 01226 734672

“But in the last few years table tennis has really taken off and is now one of the fastest growing sports in the country and through these new coaching sessions I am hoping to inspire even more young kids in South Yorkshire to start playing.”

Schools will be able to register for the sports equipment they need, then when a parent purchases a policy from Childsure, the school will receive £15 of vouchers to spend at equipment provider Davies Sports.

It is hoped that the new programme will not only encourage more young people to take up the sport, but also help to talent spot any new hopefuls, who could play at higher levels in the future. Jayne Naylor, programming and development manager at EIS Sheffield, said: “This is a unique opportunity for school children to learn one of the fastest growing sports under the guidance of some of the top coaches in the world and alongside the best players in the country. Studio manager: Stewart Holt Deputy group editor: Judith Halkerston Circulation enquiries to: Kelly Tarff Tel: 01226 734695

A NEW campaign has been launched to give schools the chance to receive a range of sports equipment. Triple Olympian Steve Backley is backing the scheme, which is a joint initiative from Childsure and Aviva, aimed at bringing parents affordable private medical insurance.

nine and at that time there were very few opportunities to get into the sport.

“Darius is a superb player and also a great role model for the youngsters.”

Equipment campaign launched

One policy will allow a school to buy, for example, four footballs, 48 tennis balls or 11 foam javelins.

Darius Knight

There is no limit to the amount of vouchers school’s can receive to spend on sports equipment and they have until July 2011 to collect and save.




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Rugby coach Paul’s ‘massive contribution to Welsh sport’ recognised by award A FORMER PE teacher has been named Coach of the Year at the Sports Council for Wales’ annual awards. Paul John, Welsh Rugby Sevens coach, was also given the prize for High Performance Coach of the Year at the ceremony at Cardiff’s Welsh Institute of Sport. He was recognised for his contribution to rugby in Wales over the past 12 months after he became the first Welsh coach to lead a team to World Cup victory in any sport. Paul was nominated by John Schropfer, WRU national coach development manager, who said: “Paul’s attributes make him an ideal role model for the young players aspiring to become professional players. His empowering style of coaching has seen his charges develop considerably this last year. “He is the first Welsh rugby coach who can say that he has won the World Cup for Sevens. This was an incredible achievement.” Philip Carling, chair of the Sports Council for Wales, added: “Paul John has made a massive contribution to Welsh sport, in particular, rugby and we have certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labour this year with a World Cup victory. “Good coaches inspire, motivate

‘Exciting break activities could make an impact’ By Louise Cordell

Paul John and encourage and it’s vital that we recognise their work. “The awards also demonstrate that coaches at local level are just as vital as those who work with elite athletes. “It is their industrious contribution that encourages youngsters into sport, keeps them motivated and active at a young age and instils the core values of hard work, accountability, belief and – above all – enjoyment.”

OFFERING a variety of exciting, outdoor break time activities could help schools make a significant impact on childhood activity and self esteem, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Essex have found that where basic sports equipment was introduced at two Colchester primary schools during break times, activity levels increased and if orienteering sessions were offered self esteem and activity levels received a boost. They have concluded that by making playtime more interesting, rising childhood inactivity and obesity levels could be reversed. Dr Caroline Angus, who led the Heart Research UK-funded study, said: “Our findings suggest that playtime provides a significant and important opportunity to increase physical activity levels in young children and the type of activity offered can influence both the amount of time spent doing exercise and selfesteem. “One of the most interesting findings was that although the introduction of sports equipment increased activity, it did so most significantly in those children who already had higher fitness levels, suggesting less fit children were choosing to engage less with the equipment, perhaps because

of less well developed motor skills. “It is therefore crucial that a wide range of activities be offered in order to increase the engagement of all children.” The study involved more than 50 Year Four pupils from one urban school and one in a rural environment: Willow Brook Primary in Colchester and Langenhoe Community Primary School. The research team introduced three intervention programmes for oneweek each: the provision of outdoor clothing to maximise outdoor play during the winter months; the introduction of sports equipment (such as Frisbees, hula hoops and skipping ropes) to improve cardio-respiratory fitness and motor skills; and orienteering to increase the use of green space. Dr Angus added: ‘In the UK, over 14 per cent of children are already overweight or obese when they leave primary school and this figure is expected to rise. Our study has shown that there are simple, easily introduced playtime activities that can increase the amount and intensity of physical activity undertaken by children which can positively influence psychological well-being. It is essential that more effective strategies, and a multifaceted approach be utilised in order to address the linked problems of obesity and sedentary behaviour.”

Football starts take equality message into schools PUPILS at Highgate School have received a visit from a series of footballing stars while taking part in the Kick It Out – One Game One Community action week. The football equality and inclusion campaign teamed up with YoungMinds, an organisation which supports young people’s mental health and well being, for an event looking at ways to tackle discrimination and the stigma around mental health problems. Arsenal legend Paul Davis and England Women’s striker Lianne Sanderson joined members of Kick It Out, the PFA and YoungMinds for a question and answer session with the pupils.

Paul, who made over 500 appearances for the Gunners, said: “Discrimination comes in different forms. Sometimes prejudices aren’t just about skin colour. “I’m delighted to be involved in an event that will help address these questions and football is a great tool to do this.” Lucie Russell, YoungMinds director of campaigns, added: “Stigma about mental health problems is very ingrained in society and therefore getting the footballing community on side to challenge it and raise awareness about the importance of sport in keeping young peoples minds healthy is a fantastic partnership for us.”

£175k refurbishment unveiled OXFORD Brookes University’s Centre for Sport has unveiled a huge £175,000 refurbishment of its gym and climbing wall. The gym and wall at the Headington sports centre have been completely overhauled in what has been the biggest revamp in the building’s history. Climbing wall Rock Solid has seen a £100,000 rebuild and extension to make it 50 per cent bigger and a further

£50,000 has been spent replacing 27 machines in the gym’s health and fitness suite with state of the art kit. Keith Kelly, director of sport at the university, said: “With this upgrade of the gym and climbing wall, we are offering some of the best sports facilities in the region. The gym has world-class equipment now and the climbing wall is as good as any in the south of England.”




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Youngsters most likely to use pills or hypnosis By Louise Cordell YOUNG people in Britain are turning to extreme methods to fight the flab according to new research. A study has shown that those in their teens and early twenties are most likely to turn to hypnosis or pills to beat obesity than any other age group. The YouGov figures showed that 34 per cent would take weight loss pills and one quarter would resort to hypnosis if they felt they were overweight. The research was commissioned by the British Society of Gastroenterology and aimed to uncover young people’s attitudes towards obesity and the associated risks. It showed that most are unaware of many of the health issues being overweight can cause with 59 per cent unaware of the link with infertility and less than a third aware it could cause cancer of the colon. Professor Chris Hawkey, president of the BSG, said: “Obesity is a huge problem facing Britain with predic-

tions showing it is only going to get worse. “But this is the first time that we have looked at young people’s attitudes to this serious health issue. “If they aren’t even aware of obesity’s wider health implications such as GI cancer, then they are never going to change their behavioural habits. “For young people, as a group that is most at risk, obesity is an issue that needs tackling in a serious manner before health issues turn into a pandemic costing our country a fortune and placing enormous pressure on the health service.” The results were published as part of National Obesity Week, in order to get people to recognise that being overweight is a health issue and not just about the way you look. Professor David Haslam, chairman and clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, said: “We have a time bomb here which has been building up gradually for a long time and I’m afraid we haven’t seen the worst of it. “With a third of children in England either overweight or obese, we need to take more serious action now.”

Schols’ rugby competition proves a winner THE third contact rugby competition held by the Five Towns school sport partnership has been a success. Eight teams took part in the primary school, nine-a-side event, held at Featherstone Rovers, after schools across the district had been invited to take part. The aim of the competition is to provide a forum for young rugby players to represent their school, with a combination of all-boys and mixedsex teams playing. The schools involved were Airedale Junior, Castleford Park Junior, Heath View, North Featherstone, Redhill

Junior, St Peter’s, St Thomas and Smawthorne Henry Moore. Paul Ogilvie, partnership development manager, said: “Smawthorne Henry Moore, with a 16-8 victory, were our well-deserved champions. There was also a Player of Steel award, voted for by teachers and the winner was Levi Johnson of St Thomas, Featherstone for his determination, strength and good attitude. “We particularly appreciated all the help from the teachers, coaches and parents, who supported their teams in the true spirit of school sport.”

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Last year Sheffield became one of nine areas across the country to be awarded £5m funding for the Healthy Towns Programme. This was matched locally to create a £10m project aimed at tackling rising levels of obesity in children and families. Future Fitness found out more:

‘We want to make it the norm for people to lead healthy and active lifestyles’ THE focus of the Healthy Town Programme in Sheffield, now renamed Let’s Change4Life, is to discover the best ways of preventing childhood obesity. Its aim is to find out how to create a generation of kids who will not have to face the wide range of health problems caused by the country’s growing weight problems. Carol Weir, the Let’s Change4Life project director, said: “We are trying to look at everything from the individual to the infrastructure of the town itself, using a multi-pronged approach to create a cultural shift. “We want to make it the norm for people to lead healthy and active lifestyles but this means raising the baseline for everyone. “It is not enough to just tell people to be healthier, especially children, you have to look at all the barriers that are stopping them and try and address those.” The programme is set to continue until March 2011 and encompasses projects looking at almost every aspect of obesity prevention. Plans are in place to make Sheffield

a breastfeeding friendly city, as research has shown that breastfed children are less likely to become obese and to improve the local green spaces to encourage health and fitness in the community. Parents are being encouraged to eat better and get active so their children can follow positive examples and local volunteers are being trained up to make sure that all young people have access to a variety of healthy activities. Planning applications are under review to ensure health and community friendly developments and schools are also receiving support to reach their fitness targets. Carol added: “We have had a fantastic response from schools because we are presenting them with a list of options that they can use to help meet their targets and helping them out with funding as well. “It is all about finding ways to get the kids active without them realising by keeping things fun. “Our aim is to work with each school individually because each one is different and it is the teachers,

pupils and parents who know what will work best for them.” Projects already underway in schools include a free fruit scheme for all 5,629 year seven pupils in Sheffield and a Bike It programme to encourage 16,000 young people in 50 schools to cycle to and from school. The programme is also working to make sure that all children and young people take part in at least one hour of physical activity each day. Carol added: “Making changes is going to take time and we need the kids themselves and teachers and parents to get involved and tell us what they think will be helpful. “By the time the project ends, we hope to have a much better idea of what works, what doesn’t and why, when it comes to obesity prevention. “We are in a challenging time economically and politically so this kind of evidence will be invaluable in the future. “Childhood obesity isn’t going away and is only going to get worse if it isn’t addressed, so it needs a big response with action across all sectors.”

Carol Weir

School meals up by 149,340 THE Let’s Change4Life programme is tackling healthy eating as well as exercise, and so far has increased school meal uptake by 149,340 meals served. It has also established growing and cookery clubs in 174 schools and is supporting 50 of these in selling their healthy produce to the community. However, Carol, who also represents the British Dietetic Association on the School Meals Review Panel, points out that there is still a lot of work to do. She said: “The battle is not won by

any means, increasing school meal take up is still a big part of our plan. “I think we have now reached the point where school meals are a very healthy option, but they still suffer from a negative portrayal. “There are a lot of caterers who are working very had to produce nutritional, tasty food, but people aren’t giving it a chance. “I think we need to be asking people exactly when the last time they tried a school dinner was, and encouraging them to give the new versions a chance and see the difference.”

New sports coach directory launched A NEW directory for qualified sports coaches and leaders in Derbyshire has been created to help meet the expected surge in interest as the 2012 Olympic Games get closer. The Derbyshire Sport Coach Database, run by Coaching Derbyshire, has been established so that coaches and leaders across the county can register their details and availability for coaching sessions – both paid and voluntary. Coaching Derbyshire is now urging coaches of all sports and activities to register on the database, which will also be used to help assess the future training needs of local coaches. Allison Nolan, Coaching Derbyshire co-ordinator, said: “We aim to have 500 coaches registered

on the database by April 2010, and once we have done this we can begin to really make a difference by offering them the support they need. “Organisations across Derbyshire will be better placed to offer training and personal development opportunities, as coaches can use the database to tell us what they want. “It will also help to put coaches in touch with people and organisations across the county who are looking for coaches to support their club, school, community group or team.” Coaches on the database will receive regular e-newsletters with information and updates on courses, opportunities for paid or voluntary work, and other events.

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New college supports Help the Heroes appeal A NEW college offering sports and nutrition therapy courses in Leatherhead has opened its doors this month at a joint event with Help for Heroes. Paragon College held two open days and donated £1 for every person who visited, encouraging locals to take a look at the courses on offer. People will be able to sign up for a wide range of specialist courses from two hour seminars and weekend workshops to part time diplomas over one or two years. Caroline Theobald, director, said: “As people are becoming more aware of the importance of fitness and a healthy lifestyle, our courses fill a demand for more accessible learning. “From the New Year we are offering accredited diplomas in Sports or Nutritional Therapy for people who wish to change their career and join these professions. “Qualification ensures individuals can practice as competent therapists.”

Winning schools step up to the mark SIX schools around the UK have been named winners in a national dance competition and rewarded with a visit from Strictly Come Dancing judge, Craig Revel Horwood. The schools entered the Bone Factor Tour, a nationwide contest from the National Osteoporosis Society, created to help kids ‘Boogie for their Bones’. The winners were selected for the unique and creative dances, as well as their understanding of the importance of exercise and diet for maintaining bone health. Craig said: “I’ve teamed up with the National Osteoporosis Society because dance is a great form of exercise for building stronger bones and a fun way to teach children the importance of keeping their bones healthy from a young age.” On the tour, pupils performed their winning dance for Craig, who then taught them some of his own moves including ‘the funky chicken’, ‘the Beyoncé’ and ‘Thriller’, which he choreographed for the charity’s ‘Boogie for your Bones’ dance plan. They also took part in a fun nutrition session, the Bone Healthy Café, to learn about the importance of a balanced, calcium rich diet for building stronger bones. Dr Claire Bowring of the National Osteoporosis Society said: “Bones stop growing in length between the ages of 16 and 18, and peak bone density is reached in our mid 20s.

The Bone Factor tour’s visit to Eastburn Junior and Infant School in Keighley, West Yorkshire disabling bone problems, like osteo“Regular weight-bearing exercise porosis, in later life.” when we are young, like dancing, The winning schools were Eastburn combined with a healthy diet means Junior and Infant School, West that we can build stronger bones at Yorkshire; Llanfair Primary School, this crucial time to support us as we Wales; Maryland Primary, Stratford; get older. St. Clement Danes Primary School, “Healthy lifestyles at any age can London; St Louis Middle School, help maintain our bones but by tarSuffolk and Earlston Primary School, geting children we are making big Scotland. steps early on to prevent potentially




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Creating chaos in the classroom PERSONAL trainer Dan Fletcher is ‘Creating Chaos’ in schools with his new, pupil friendly fitness programme. He joined the personal training company Creating Chaos, which runs outdoor group training sessions, following a degree in sports studies and physical education. However, his main interest was always youth fitness and he gained a series of coaching awards to help his work in this area. He said: “I was always interested in teaching children and while I was at university I completed placements in various schools and youth groups. “Once I had started working with the personal training company, I continued to coach rugby and foot-

ball in local schools to gaining experience.” Dan came up with the idea of taking his expertise into schools, delivering a combination of one off visits and 12 week programmes to get kids excited about health and fitness. He has created an educational syllabus that can be delivered to key stage three upwards, covering exercise, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. He added: “When we go into schools we do lots of active things, but we also try to exercise kids about why keeping fit is good for them, because they are always being told that, but the reasons behind it are not always explained. “If they understand why they are being asked to do something, then

Pro coaches drafted in for pilot scheme HEALTH Matters Education has announced a new partnership with Sports Xtra with the aim of delivering Health Focus Day events in schools around the country. A three month pilot is being launched, utilising professional coaches to help get children active. Vicky Bowen of Health Matters Education said: “We are extremely excited about working with Sport Xtra and their team of coaches. “We have received many

requests from individual schools nationally to support them with the delivery of our Health Focus Days and it is paramount to us all that our selected tutors are passionate about children's health and well-being and that they have the skills to engage all. “We believe the initial pilot will extend as a long term partnership and will therefore help us to ensure that every school has the opportunity to participate in what we do.”

there is more chance that they will want to take part rather than having to be forced to - and then it is much more likely that they will keep it up.” So far he has taken ‘Creating Chaos’ into secondary schools for pupils in years seven to nine, but he believes that the programme could easily be adapted to suit younger children as well. The aim is to provide the specialist knowledge that teachers may not have and help pupils get the most up to date and accurate advice. Dan added: “I don’t think the statistics lie, obesity is increasing, especially among under 18s - so this is the time when they need to be targeted and need to get enthused about being active.

“So I think that schools need to do whatever they can to make that happen, but pupils also need to take the initiative themselves and be motivated to learn, especially if the habit is going to last.” He is currently introducing the programme to schools in West and North Yorkshire, however eventually he aims to roll out the scheme across the country. This is part of his goal to get the healthy living message out to as many people as possible. He added: “We want to get everyone involved - for example we are hoping to introduce sessions for parents to correspond with our school visits. “I think this will be beneficial because it will allow whole families to work together.”




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Pupils at risk of exclusion in St Helen’s are having their lives turned around by sport thanks to the efforts of their School Sports Partnership and Healthy Schools. Future Fitness found out more.

Case Study A 14-year-old, year nine girl from St Cuthberts RC College for Business and Enterprise was offered a place on the course in February 2009 at the request of her Head of House. The school said: “This course was a strategy to help the pupil with a number of personal and social issues. “She was a talented PE student, but, having attended the first few sessions she was then excluded from the course for not bringing her PE kit regularly and for receiving school detentions for various misdemeanours. “She did not respond to staff in a positive way at this point and parental advice and encouragement were minimal throughout. “This pupil was then encouraged by the other participants of the course, their opinions, photographs and genuine comments each week about the activities. “She was allowed back onto the course with certain conditions and was also placed on behaviour and attitude report – remarkably this worked. This pupil was no angel but completed the course and at PGL, the first time she had been away, she really excelled – she was challenged and her natural abilities were stretched. This girl grew in confidence and she also, I think, realised whilst on the residential, that everyone is unique and has something to offer.”

Sport turning lives around in St Helen’s ROB Vaughan works as partnership development manager for St Helens Council’s School Sports Partnership and has been teaming up with local sports clubs and health care professionals to help local young people change their lives. Since 2003 the partnership has been running two programmes specifically targeted at vulnerable groups of key stage three boys and girls, who are at risk of disengaging with school. Rob said: “This age group can be a time when young people drop out of sport and fitness, so we wanted to do something different to get them motivated about a healthy lifestyle. “There are separate programmes for boys and girls due to the different approach needed but we have seen huge improvements in attitude and achievements across the board.” The girl’s Sport, Health and Education (SHE) programme takes on 72 pupils from two schools each year. They are selected by staff and must meet certain criteria, for example those who don’t participate in PE or activities in school or those who have

trouble interacting with their peers. The course is split into three blocks of five weeks and activities include boxercise, street dance and gym sessions as well as healthy eating and hair and beauty lessons. All the girls who manage an 85 per cent attendance over the 20 weeks are then taken to an outwards bounds centre for a long activity weekend. Rob added: “The approach to getting more girls involved in sport used to just be a case of putting on more netball sessions – but we knew this wasn’t the way to engage the pupils we were targeting and that we needed a new approach. This programme has helped a lot of girls, because it’s not about getting them onto the school teams, it’s jut about helping them to have a healthy lifestyle – and for many it has positively affected a lot of other parts of their life.” The boy’s programme takes a different approach, with pupils attending a five-day course over five weeks. Each year 75 pupils from five

schools attend, including many from local EBD and PMLD schools. They spend two days at St Helens Rugby League Football Club taking part in PE activities and sessions on diet, relationships and drug education, two days taking part in outdoor pursuits including raft building, archery and assault courses and a final day completing the Junior Rugby League Leaders Awards. Rob added: “We want to motivate these lads to achieve their potential – the kind of recognition the boys get for completing the course is a big deal for someone who has spent most of the time being in trouble. “I think success comes down to providing the right support for the pupils in that particular area. “For example, an early link up with Everton FC was not as popular as the rugby sessions, because St Helens is traditionally a rugby town. But more than anything it is a team approach, with organisations all linking up to provide their own areas of expertise, that gets results.”

Case Study A 14-year-old, year nine boy from Penkford EBD School successfully completed the course. His school said: “This boy’s behaviour profile was one of verbal and physical aggression to other students and staff. “Academically he was under achieving due to his behaviour, lack of self esteem and long periods of absence from school. He expressed that he did like sport but had not been able to take part in his previous schools because, overweight and self-conscious, he had always refused to get changed into his sports kit. “At Penkford he was allowed to take part in PE in his school uniform initially as a motivator and quickly demonstrated that he had good all round ability. “The Motivational Sport Programme early the following term was to be the springboard for his success at school.

“He joined the programme and quickly became a leader, giving 100 per cent effort in every aspect of the course. “He was then invited to attend a presentation evening at Saints RL Club and make a speech about himself and what he had gained from the course. All present were extremely impressed with the level of maturity he demonstrated and recognised what he must have overcome to be able to speak at this level in front of such a large audience. “The following two years saw him reach his full potential. “He became a key player and captain of the school football team, chair of the School Council and a member of St. Helens Youth Council, which he represented on a visit to the European Parliament in Brussels. “He also successfully gained six GCSEs, including PE.”




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Schools should be doing more to educate children about the benefits of exercise rather than concentrating on provision according to a childhood obesity expert. Future Fitness found out more.

Pupils should be encouraged to exercise in their own time DR MATT Capehorn, who runs the Rotherham Institute for Obesity, believes that schools will never be able to provide the full amount of exercise needed by children to keep fit and healthy, so instead they should be encouraging pupils to take up sport outside school. He said: “Sporadic exercise sessions don’t help overweight children because they don’t burn many calories. “But high impact, hour-long sessions five or six days a week will increase the metabolic rate and lead to weight loss. “Time constraints on schools mean very few can supply this, so it is very important that they also use their time to educate pupils about the benefits and motivate them to exercise in their own time.” Dr Capehorn has been running a child obesity clinic at the institute since April 2009 and has young people from all over Rotherham referred there. If they are just overweight, they may be referred to a local Carnegie weight loss camp or education programme. However, if they are very overweight or obese, they will be seen by some of the institute’s experts

including exercise therapists, cognitive behavioural therapists, dieticians and nutritionists, who provide help for both the children and their parents. Dr Capehorn added: “Parents who come to the clinic have a range of responses. “Some genuinely didn’t know there was a problem and are keen to do everything they can to tackle it. “But some are very defensive and will deny that there are any issues to be addressed. “The biggest culprit tends to be portion sizes rather than ‘bad’ foods. There are a lot of parents who are educated about nutrition and provide their children with a healthy diet, but big platefuls that provide far too many calories. “Another problem is that being overweight has become normalised - most people see healthy children as being underweight and in need of ‘feeding up’, and overweight children as a normal sized. “This is why many people don’t realise there is a problem until it has been developing for a long time.” The clinic is currently seven months into a three year, NHS

funded programme. The aim is to see at least 100 children each year, however although there is a waiting list for the adult services, fewer children have been getting involved. To address this, a leaflet advertising campaign was set up asking parents to weigh and measure their children and drop in for advice, which led to a jump in numbers. Dr Capehorn added: “Parents and children who attend are full of praise for the clinic and the support it offers as it is often the case that they have not had access to any kind of help or advice before. “Most of the kids make fantastic progress and the vast majority of those who stay with the programme achieve their goals. “The problem comes with those who lose motivation and drop out of the programme - this is currently around 50 per cent of the kids, so we are working on new methods of keeping them engaged. “Parents and their kids also need to be aware that even if they are not losing weight, it doesn’t mean they aren’t making progress. “As long as they can maintain their current weight, their BMI will improve as they grow.

Dr Matt Capehorn “So in many cases, maintaining is just as important as losing and we need to make people aware of this so that they aren’t disheartened.”

Schools urged to build on measurement programme DR Capehorn is calling on schools to build on the National Child Measurement Programme in order to help more young people. He would like to see regular height and weight measurements taken for all age groups – for example every year during National Obesity Week – and for parents to be properly informed of the find-

ings. He said: “Some schools take the measurements and do nothing with them and some send them home to parents, but with no real explanation of what the results mean. “Another problem is that schools are not even allowed to use the word ‘obese’, instead the largest pupils are just described as ‘very

overweight’, which is creating a false sense of security and could mean that some children are not getting the help they need.” Dr Capehorn points out that school nurses and teachers are able to refer pupils to clinics like his, simply by providing their measurements and parents’ contact details. The clinic is then able to com-

plete a more detailed assessment and provide the child with any support they might need. He added: “We are planning talks to schools in the area to make them aware of this and help them gain the skills and confidence to make the referrals. We hope this will lead to every child who needs help receiving it as soon as possible.”

City centre climbing attraction is UK first THE UK’s first DigiWall climbing attraction has opened at The Warehouse climbing centre in Gloucester city centre. The wall, installed by Innovative Leisure, is a series of computer games played through a climbing wall interface. Each section features 24 grips for hands and feet, which incorporate a sensor and light which are linked to a computer. A surround sound system is another feature and a variety of games with different levels can be played by users as they climb over the wall. It aims to provide physically challenging, computer based entertainment for a wide age range, in particular for youngsters who might otherwise not get involved in physical activity. Simon Baldwin, a director at The Warehouse, said: “We were trying to

find something different to add to the centre and felt it would be good for us to have the first DigiWall in the UK, particularly as we are a climbing centre. I could see a number of extra benefits when I first saw it and all ages are using it, from five year olds up to adults.” Phil Pickergill, Innovative Leisure’s md, added: “We have noticed a definite increase in the popularity of climbing attractions. A wide range of organisations are installing them as alternatives to more traditional games and activities and finding that climbing provides a number of benefits for youngsters, not least the fact that some who may not get involved in sport generally are trying it and realising they can enjoy such activities as part of their suggested five hours a week of physical exercise.”

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Scottish school named the fittest in the land LASSWADE High School Centre in Midlothian has been named the UK’s Fittest Secondary School. The Scottish school came top in Fit For Sport’s 2009 Fitter Schools Challenge. The mixed comprehensive has around 1250 pupils who all took part in the challenge which includes taking up new activities and a range of fitness assessments. George Falconer, the school’s principal teacher of PE, said: “We are a large community school with great facilities including playing fields and a double games hall and we are home to the Midlothian School of Gymnastics. “We have very enthusiastic staff which I think is invaluable for inspiring young people and we encourage all of our pupils to take part in something. “Like any school we find that it is the teenage girls who are the most challenging to engage, but we try to give them a range of options, and that way they are more likely to find something that they enjoy.” As part of the award, the school was presented with £10,000 worth of sports equipment including 21 spin-

ner bikes, equipment for speed-badminton, Crazy Catch equipment and a set of Pyrex dishes to promote healthy eating. George added: “The new equipment will be particularly helpful. “Schools face a lot of challenges when trying to provide better physical education. “The curriculum is constantly changing and I think that the benefits of sport can be pushed to one side. “But it is important in its own right for many reasons, from health and fitness to team building, social skills and personal development. “I think PE teachers need to work with their heads and local authorities to make sure that our goals are kept in mind – they can be achieved if everyone works together.” Over the last year the school has also introduced a range of different classes including cheerleading, judo and hip hop to attract new pupils. However, it also plans to keep providing all the traditional games, because so many pupils still enjoy the team sports. George added: “What is in fashion changes all the time – what might be

Staff and pupils from Lasswade HSC accepting their award very popular with one year groups will not interest the next year at all – so schools have to adapt and communicate with their pupils to keep up. “Kids are under a lot of pressure

these days and I really admire those who have the discipline to commit to their sports. “These are the role models in our school and I think they set a great example.”




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Bar raised with new ‘five-hour’ benchmark A NEW ‘five-hour offer’ benchmark for youth sport has been set by the Government, following the publication of its latest PE and Sport Survey. This is the sixth survey that has been carried out and the first since the target for five to 16-year-olds to do at least two hours of sport each week was reached last year. Iain Wright, minister for children, schools and families, said: “We are raising the bar on youth sport in this country in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. “School and youth sport has never been so well-funded or enjoyed by young people – but we are not going to stop there. We want even more children to join in across the country. “We are aiming high for our young people because they deserve nothing less – setting our sights on five hours’ sport each week.” The survey reveals that over half of pupils take part in at least three hours’ sport in a typical week and that schools now provide an average of 18.6 different sports, including football, dance, athletics, badminton

and volleyball. It also showed that 99 per cent of schools held at least one sports day, every school has links to an average of 8.2 sports clubs and 44 per cent of pupils participated in inter-school competitions during the academic year. Finally, Britain’s success in cycling at the Beijing Olympics has resulted in a surge of interest in the sport, with half of all schools offering it to pupils – up from just 21 per cent in 2003. Steve Grainger, Youth Sport Trust chief executive, said: “It is fantastic news that more young people are participating in PE and sport. “Typically schools now offer an impressive 18 sports for pupils to take part in and I think it’s no coincidence that on that back of Team GBs success in Beijing that cycling is the sport that is rapidly growing in our schools. With London 2012 on the horizon, the Youth Sport Trust will remain focused on ensuring that PE and school sport engages all young people and that we continue to provide more opportunities to participate, compete, lead and volunteer in sport.”

The University of Leeds is investing in a new, on-campus state-of-the-art swimming pool and 200-station gym. The 25m, eight-lane pool will be the centre -piece of the university’s new £12.2m fitness complex, which will be one of the largest of any UK university and is expected to be open by summer 2010. Richard Handscombe, head of sales and marketing for the university’s conference

facilities, said: “The new sports facilities are going to be fabulous, probably the best of any university in the country and certainly up there with the top private gyms. The pool includes a partially moveable floor to create depths of up to two metres, providing a facility for casual swimmers as well as for water-based sports such as water polo, canoe polo and sub-aqua.”

By Louise Cordell

A pupil from the Ellesmere College Cricket Academy has been named North East Wales Young Player of the Year. Dewi Jones joined the School in year ten as a day boy and was previously a pupil of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd School in Wrexham. He plays for for Brymbo Cricket Club and is also an Ellesmere College Cricket Academy Scholar. Dewi is a successful batsman, with a high score of 63, and represents North East Wales at county level and Wales at national level. Rod Jones, Cricket Academy director, said: “We are delighted that Dewi has joined the school and we look forward to helping him further develop his cricket talent.”

System will ‘stop students getting bored’ THE soon-to-open Surrey Sports Park at the University of Surrey has used the Life Fitness Journey system to stop students getting bored and increase the longevity of their exercise sessions. A low-level circuit area has also been installed, designed for 30minute workouts, as studies suggest that a short burst of activity such as interval training is the best kind of exercise to boost brain power.

Rob Jones, development manager at Life Fitness said the company is passionate about encouraging students to exercise, but attracting them away from the pub and into the gym is one of their biggest challenges. He added: “The correct product mix and layout is very important as students often want to be able to pop in for quick gym sessions in between lectures and get bored quickly.”

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Fatty food at fitness facilities criticised By Mary Ferguson FITNESS facilities that sell fatty food to youngsters have been slammed in a controversial new report that claims they are undermining the fight against childhood obesity. A Fit Choice, published by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), blames a lack of regulation for allowing leisure centres to sell kids unhealthy food in cafes and vending machines – which cannot be advertised on children’s TV or sold in school vending machines. Researchers visited a variety of places that help children get active, including leisure centres, ice rinks, and bowling alleys. Key findings from the report include:  Vending machines dominate venues  Junk food meal deals monopolise children’s menus  There is a lack of nutritional information, with just two of the venues visited displaying fat and calorie content of meals and snacks. Peter Hollins, chief executive of the BHF, said: “The average calorie content of the 21 vending machine snacks found most frequently was 203 calories. A seven-year-old would need to do a staggering 88 minutes of

swimming to use that up. “It’s fantastic that these kids are getting fit and having fun at the same time but this is being undermined by venues peddling junk food at them. “Councils and leisure providers need to rigorously reconsider the food options they are providing and make it easier for parents and children to make healthier choices.” However, the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) has criticised the reasons behind the report – branding it a ‘publicity stunt’.

The findings appeared in a national newspaper before being sent to the association, angering COO David Stalker. He added: “The FIA welcomes the BHF report, its findings and the fact that we have to review what we offer visitors to our facilities. “However, we question the motivation behind the research. “We would welcome the opportunity to work with the BHF directly, but not through the columns of national newspapers.”

£10k donation will lead to free courses SPORTS Leaders UK has received a £10,000 donation to help fund more than 100 new outreach centres and more community partnership projects. The contribution from the Garfield Weston Foundation will pay for sports leadership training centres in disadvantaged communities which will provide open access to a range of Sports Leaders UK qualifications. Linda Plowright, Sports Leaders UK chief executive, said: “This is a major boost to the newly formed Sports Leaders UK Foundation. “It will enable us to reach those young people that cannot currently access our training and qualifications, particularly those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds with the fewest life chances. “We will be able to provide free courses so that they can experience the benefits of the training, achieve nationally recognised qualifications, and embark on a pathway to a positive life.”

If you’ve got a story for Future Fitness give Louise Cordell a ring on 01226 734694 or email:

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Quality wins college an award By Louise Cordell THE Cedars School Sport College in Newcastle has been recognised for the quality of its disabled sport provision. The college, which teaches young people aged four to 16 with a range of special educational needs, won this year’s Telegraph School Sport Matters Award for Excellence in Disabled Sport. The school coordinates a disability multi sport club, the Gateshead Kestrels, for disabled pupils from mainstream and special schools across the borough and its members have achieved success in a wide range of sports at a local and national level. Liz Neale, the school’s director of specialism, said: “Sport is a big part of school life for us. “We follow the national curriculum to the level of ability that we are able to within the school and it is fully inclusive so every pupil is able to take part. “We have at least three hours of PE every week during school time and we operate after school activity clubs for two hours, five nights a week for our own pupils and disabled students from other local schools.” Members of the Gateshead Kestrels have recently participated in the Disability Sport Events

National Mini Games and won awards for Team of the Championship and Female Athlete of the Championship. Others qualified to compete in swimming, athletics and boccia at the National DSE Championships and received gold, silver and bronze medals. Two swimmers were also identified by British Swimming as potential 2012 Paralympic hopefuls, and one is now training on the ‘World Class Potential Programme’. Liz added: “We were able to build an inclusive fitness suite on site after we achieved specialist sports status two years ago – and we are one of only a handful of special needs schools in the UK to do so. “That has been very helpful, but we don’t have a huge amount of other facilities on site, just a sports hall that is not really large enough for team sports. “So we make use of what is available at our partnership schools and local clubs.” The Cedars is also the only SEN school to be selected by the Youth Sport Trust for their Supporting Talented Athletes on the Road to Success programme. To be involved in STARS, athletes are required to be in the top five per cent nationally within their chosen discipline; and at the Cedars there

Liz Neale with pupils Rebecca Morton and Stephanie Moore receiving the School Sport Matters Award are 15 students who qualify. Liz added: “I think the children really benefit from the high level of sport we provide, as well as they chances they are given to mix and meet with other young people with disabilities and play and compete

on equal terms. “We also use our experience to identify talent and we are good at spotting skilled young people and putting them on performance pathways so that they are able to achieve more.”




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Support for young athletes pursuing their sporting dreams By Louise Cordell SPORT England and SportsAid have named 16 young athletes tipped for success at the 2016 Olympic Games. The ‘16 for 2016’ are all supported by SportsAid, a charity which gives financial assistance to talented youngsters aged 12 to 18, to help them meet the costs of pursuing their sporting dreams. The rising stars were named as Sport England announced that it would be investing over half a million pounds of Government funding in SportsAid over the next two years. Sir Steve Redgrave, the Government’s new 2012 sports champion, said; “Sport England’s funding means more young people can look forward to the same support from SportsAid that helped me when I was at the start of my career. “We need to give these youngsters all the help we can to help them progress onto elite programmes and fulfil their potential.” Sport England’s support for SportsAid is part of its ‘excel’ strategic

outcome, which is focused on supporting emerging talent. Over four years, the organisation is investing more than £100m in 35 national governing bodies to help them develop programmes that will help gifted performers move on to elite programmes. SportsAid’s chief executive, Tim Lawler, said: “The athletes we support spend, on average, more than £5,000 per year on their sport – perhaps a modest calculation. “SportsAid aims not only to relieve The SportsAid 16 for 2016 are: Jodie Williams, 15, Welwyn Garden City – Athletics. Eleanor Faulkner, 16, Sheffield – Swimming. Tin-Tin Ho, 11, Westminster, London – Table Tennis. Zoe Smith, 15, Greenwich, London – Weightlifting. Jack Roughan, 16, Shrewsbury – Disability Athletics. Elliot Hanson, 15, Prestbury, Cheshire – Sailing. Savannah Marshall, 18, Hartlepool –

some of the pressure that comes with financing their training and competition costs but also to recognise their achievements. “Each athlete that we support has a truly inspirational story, one that should be shared. “The 16 athletes we’ve tipped for success are shining examples of this. “The sheer determination, commitment and talent shown by them is outstanding and SportsAid is glad to tell their story and play its part in helping them on their way.” Boxing. Bethan Latham, 16, Keighley – Canoe Slalom. Hannah Barnes, 16, Towcester – Cycling. Constantine Louloudis, 18, Westminster – Rowing. Caitlin Chang, 16, Harrogate – Fencing. Chris Coles, 17, Clevedon – Badminton. George Lee, 14, Lewisham – Taekwondo. Levi Noel, 18, Luton – Basketball. Frank Baines, 14, Liverpool – Gymnastics. Erin Orford, 20, Radnage – Para Dressage.

Training programme gives rugby a try ... THE pre-school football training programme, Little Kickers, has announced a move into rugby training. The business has been running since 2002 and currently operates through a network of over 90 franchisees in the UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Canada. It has now announced the launch of Little Rugby, a sports class for children aged from two to five. Christine Stanschus, company CEO, said: “The Little Kickers ‘play not push’ approach to football training has proven a hit with parents and kids alike. “It’s a great way for young children to get an introduction to sports, and with many parents looking for rugby courses, launching Little Rugby was a logical step for us to take. “We feel that by offering a wider range of classes, we can encourage even more children to take an interest in sport, and contribute towards their health and wellbeing.”

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Kids ‘walk to Minster’ in PE A GROUP of children from South Kilvington CE School near Thirsk have been making the most of their PE lessons by learning more about healthy living. Pupils in years three and four were given pedometers by Natural England and have been using the devices to monitor steps taken during their PE sessions and playtimes. After working out that roughly 2,000 steps make a mile, they were given a set of maps showing the route from their school to York Minster, just under 24 miles away. Each step the children take is now recorded, converted into miles and

then added to the distance travelled on the map. Jayne Shaw, teacher of years three and four said: “I was delighted when we were given the pedometers and the children were head over heels when I gave them out, they were running around and trying to tot up as many steps as they could. “The activity is very inclusive, all children of all physical abilities are joining in and it’s great for their self esteem. What has really impressed me is the way they have stuck to the task of walking to York Minster, they are determined to get there.”

UK’s leading provider of vocational qualifications AT City and Guilds we work hard to keep up with the latest developments in the exercise and fitness industry so learners can develop the skills they will need to start their career and improve and gain new additional skills and knowledge. All our qualifications are developed in close consultation with the industry to ensure a comprehensive suite of qualifications that can be delivered or learned in any style. We offer a range of exercise and fitness qualifications from levels one to three including NVQs and vocational qualifications. Whether your candidates are starting out their careers at a local gym or leisure facility as an assistant instructor or are advanced fitness instruc-

tors looking to become personal trainers, we can provide them with a suitable and highly practical qualification to reward and recognise their career progress. As the UK’s leading provider of vocational qualifications we are recognised by employers worldwide for providing the qualifications that offer proof of the skills needed to succeed. For more information please visit: or e-mail: to arrange a visit to your centre.

Is diminishing the achievements of learners in any way productive? By Stephen Studd QUALIFICATIONS divide opinion. Too easy, too difficult. Designed for the educational elite, designed for those who cannot cope with more challenging qualifications. I think it is fair to say that no matter what the qualification, how long it has been around, how many employers recognise and rate it, only one thing is certain – it will be criticised. You would think that having spent the last three years developing one of the new Diplomas I would find it demoralising or frustrating reading all the comments which have attacked this new raft of qualifications – and you would be right, at least, at first. A few weeks ago Baroness Verma commented that diplomas are a ‘back door’ route to qualifications and she referred to them being designed for young people who struggled with GCSEs. The following week however, the Association of Colleges claimed they had conducted research which found that diplomas are too difficult. Having read and reviewed all these comments, I have come to the conclusion that everyone is absolutely right. Not perhaps in their specific view but in that a qualification should absolutely be debated for its value, that its contribution towards

putting someone into work should be questioned. We are, after all, talking about people’s lives and their future livelihoods. Diplomas have really been designed to embrace all these differences but also to counter the issue of young people emerging from school, college or university with a raft of academic qualifications but not actually ‘workplace ready’ in the eyes of an employer. The obvious answer to producing a qualification which solved this problem was to get employers involved with actually developing the course and its content. The wonderful thing is that the employers we have approached to become involved have been delighted to do so. They see the long-term potential of the process so are prepared to lend us some of their valuable time. I think for everyone still inclined to criticise the diploma or for that matter any other qualification, I would ask them to consider whether they truly believe that diminishing the achievements of learners at such a time as this when jobs are increasingly difficult to come by is in any way productive.  Stephen Studd is chief executive of SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning, which has developed a new Diploma in Sport and Active Leisure.




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news 19 Arsene Wenger has attended the opening of Greenhouse school TreeHouse’s National Centre for Autism Education in Muswell Hill, London. The Arsenal manager assisted multisports coach Geza during a football exhibition which showed how Greenhouse uses football to teach young people with autism valuable life skills like teamwork and communication. In order to help the young people get the education and support they need, the Greenhouse coaches will provide multisport activities throughout the school week, weekends and school holidays to help them develop physical and social skills. Ed Balls, secretary of state for the Department of Children, Schools and Families also attended the event and said: “Improving provision for children with autism is an important priority.”

Primary school drafts in the experts for sports lessons HOBBAYNE Primary School in Hanwell is aiming to provide the best sports lessons for its pupils by bringing in outside expertise. The school employs Fit for Sport to cover its PE provision, with two specialist instructors attending three days a week to take the classes as well as organising extra after-school and lunch clubs. The aim is to make sure that pupils receive consistently high quality PE while teachers get their required non contact time and the move has paid off, with the school being named Fittest Primary School in this year’s Fitter Schools Challenge.

Camilla said: “Sport has a high status at Hobbayne. Our pupils get a lot of opportunities to play sports and this means that we don’t have much of a problem with overweight or obese pupils because they all get the chance to stay fit. We also have good links with our local sports college and take the kids along to use their facilities. I think we are different to many primary schools in that we have a lot of commitment from staff who recognise the importance of sport – and not all schools have that ethos.” All sports at the school used to be played non-competitively, but last year a competitive element was

introduced. Teachers felt that pupils were not being given enough chances to shine in front of their peers and this would give them that opportunity. Camilla added: “This has worked out well and has really encouraged enthusiasm for sport – we have had a great response from kids and parents alike and we now plan to continue the scheme next year. “We still do sports just for fun as well, but kids enjoy the opportunity to get that recognition – for example, getting to stand up in assembly when their team wins.” The school also delivers around 30

clubs each week, which are mostly run voluntarily by teachers. Pupils all get to take part in one or two of their top choices and most activities, including netball, football, hockey, yoga and Gaelic football, are provided for free. Camilla added: “Good sports provision means that the kids are fitter and happier. “They get so much enjoyment from participating, they love being part of a team and want to play against others. “It also means that pupils get a chance to be successful even if they are not particularly academic.”

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Pupils’ Parkour passion channelled By Louise Cordell PUPILS in Doncaster are being given the chance to take part in one of the most popular new sports to hit the UK. Parkour has been introduced to the curriculum by Lindsy Gray, the Flying High School Sport Partnership’s PDM and Positive Futures. Lindsy said: “The creation of this scheme came from the growing demand that has arisen in Doncaster to engage young people who have not been attracted by traditional sports and activities. “Students were taking part in Parkour activities on school sites during break times, but teachers were uncomfortable about the safety and ability. “So our aim was to channel their passion for the sport into a structured programme for key stage three and four.” Over a 12 month period all eight secondary schools across the partnership took part in a series of coaching sessions. A central Parkour Academy has now been established at the Doncaster Dome due to demand and is attracting over 60 young people a night. The ambition for the future is for a

full parkour indoor park to be built, which could become the Parkour Academy for the North of England. Lindsy added: “Teachers commented that the young people attending had never stayed after school before for any extra curricular clubs. “These young people took owner-

ship of the programme and began writing applications to the Youth Opportunities Fund to further secure the coaching and to buy clothing to give them an identity.” The school sport partnership identified a lack of qualified tutors and a demand from schools – so commissioned Sharon Robinson to

write the first ever educational Parkour Key Stage 3 and 4 CD resource which has been endorsed by both afPE and Parkour UK. The first teacher training day was held in Doncaster in October and was over subscribed, leading to more courses being orgainsed to take place throughout 2010.

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Award-winning Rutland school offers over thirty sports By Louise Cordell WITH over 50 matches played in 15 sports each week, PE is a big part of life at Oakham School in Rutland. Its aim is to promote active, healthy lifestyles and, in the last year, Oakham teams reached the final national stages in 11 different sports. The school’s achievements have now led to it being named Independent School of the Year at the recent School Sport Matters Awards. Iain Simpson, director of sport, said: “We try to create a supportive and inspiring atmosphere for our pupils and we have a lot of high-profile alumni, including cricketer Stuart Broad and rugby players Tom Croft and Lewis Moody, for them to aspire to. “We also make the most of the fact that we are a big, well staffed school – so we can say yes to everything and not just concentrate on a few sports. “This means there is something for everyone.” At Oakham, sports afternoons take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all middle and upper school pupils, who then play their competitive fixtures on Saturday afternoons. The junior pupils have their games afternoons on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and this is organised to make sure that all age groups, from new pupils to the school teams’ top performers, all get quality time with the coaches. Iain added: “Our top teams are very

Ten-year-old Jonathan Yeates is celebrating becoming the youngest swimmer to complete his Honours Award at the Dearneside Leisure Centre. The Award, which is a nationally recognised swimming achievement, took him eight months to complete and involved various tasks including swimming 1,000 metres in 20 minutes, diving for 2kg objects and completing a back somersault finishing in a back layout position.

important to us and we do everything we can to maximise their potential, but we also want to involve as many pupils as possible. “We have between 500 and 600 students playing in competitive interschool fixtures each week. “But we also appreciate that competitive sport is not for everyone, so we provide alternatives to keep them involved, such as kick boxing and yoga sessions.” Overall the school offers more than 30 different sports, including many specially requested by the pupils, such as Tae Kwon Do. However, these are always introduced on top of the core curriculum to make sure that the students are not missing out on the tried and tested activities. Iain added: “I think that the kids gain a lot of benefits from attending a school with such a strong sporting ethos. “Firstly it is great for their fitness to be taking part in at least eight hours of strenuous activity a week – we have very low levels of obesity at the school and this is because we encourage everyone to lead an active lifestyle. “They also get huge enjoyment from playing competitive sports – it provides a real boost to their communication and team building skills as well as their self confidence, hopefully helping them keep up the habit away from school and in the future.”

Carol Haigh, swimming instructor for Barnsley Premiere Leisure, said: “Jonathan has done extremely well, completing the Honours award in only eight months and just days after his tenth birthday is a great achievement and we are all very proud of him. “If Jonathan carries on swimming like he is, there is no doubt in my mind that he could eventually be one of the best in the country at his level.” Jonathan is pictured with Carol

Pupils at the Sacred Heart High School in Newcastle have been taking their Judo success to the next level. Katie Seymour won a bronze medal at the recent British Championships in Sheffield, making her eligible to represent England at forthcoming events in France and Germany and putting her on the England World Class Development Programme. The school’s Judo coach, Joe Laws, has been training pupils at Newburn’s hub club with funding for kit and licences provided by the Premier League 4Sport programme

and uptake for lessons this year has increased from 20 to 30. Lisa Burdis, Sacred Heart’s SSCo, said: “Judo has become a popular sport for many of our girls in year seven and eight and they are seriously committed to it. Joe is a good coach and the results speak for themselves.” Katie’s year seven sister Molly, pictured, has also recently won her second bronze medal at the National Championships for ten to 11 year olds,adding to her tally of two Golds and one Silver. Picture: James Laughton

Teen talks about his achievements THE world’s youngest single-handed circumnavigator has visited the University of Hertfordshire to talk about his sporting achievements. Guest of honour, 17-year-old Michael Perham, appeared at the sixth annual Herts Service to Sport Awards evening to inspire the stu-

dents with information about his sixmonth round the world voyage. The awards are organised by the Herts Sports Partnership and aim to recognise and reward the work done by tens of thousands of volunteers involved in the delivery of sports programmes across Hertfordshire.




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A survey of clinically obese children has shown that they reject the idea of weight loss surgery with more than half viewing gastric bands as ‘cheating’. Instead they blame a lack of support from the government and schools for their weight problems. Future Fitness found out more.

Obese youngsters want to get in shape naturally – survey THE new study, carried out by child obesity experts, Carnegie Weight Management, found that 61 per cent of the children would not consider surgery to lose weight and instead wanted to get in shape naturally. Most, 71 per cent, felt that the drastic option was too dangerous, 60 per cent saw it as ‘cheating’ and just under two thirds believe that there are easier ways to get the results they want. The survey was carried out to try and uncover young peoples’ perceptions of the issues surrounding obesity, though the eyes of those directly affected by it. Over 100 clinically obese young people were interviewed and asked about the problems they face on a daily basis, their attitudes towards overcoming their weight problems and their biggest fears. Professor Paul Gately, founder of Carnegie Weight Management, said: “To truly get to the heart of this issue and uncover new ways to reach out to the 2.3 million young people who are tackling obesity, you need to speak directly to those who are living with this problem day in, day out. “The common theme amongst obese children seen in this survey

is that they simply want to be seen as normal and be given the guidance, and most importantly – the confidence and self esteem boost needed to beat their weight issues.” Although the children questioned rejected extreme weight loss methods, 74 per cent had dieted in the past with no results and a quarter blamed a lack of weight management services in their area for their lack of success. They also criticised teachers and education authorities, with 60 per cent of them feeling that they do not get any support or help in overcoming their weight issues when at school, and nearly half experiencing bullying because of their size. The majority of the children interviewed said that they did not feel under pressure to become a size zero, with only three per cent wanting to achieve that figure and 43 per cent claiming it ‘looks ridiculous’. However, when asked about their fears for the future, well over half worried that their image will prevent them from getting a boyfriend or girlfriend and the same amount are concerned that their weight could prevent them from pursuing their dream career. Finally, despite the widely blamed

weight gain causes, only 29 per cent of the obese children saw eating too much junk food as the cause of their weight problem. Instead the majority claimed that managing portion sizes was the main reason and 48 per cent also felt that they spent too much time watching TV instead of exercising. Professor Gately added: “The obesity time bomb is ticking for the NHS and the future state of our economy. “Our study has highlighted that children want to lose weight, but they are calling for more support to help them achieve this. “The findings reaffirm that this problem is everyone’s collective responsibility and we need to work together to successfully tackle it.”

Professor Paul Gately

Case Study Deven Bowler, aged 16 from Rotherham, who attended this year’s Carnegie International Camp and participated in the survey, said: “Being overweight makes me feel different to everyone else, it affects lots of things in my life like the clothes that I can wear and my confidence. “I want to lose weight to become more healthy and look more like my

friends, but its hard when there are so many temptations at home and little support from school. “I lost over a stone at camp, so I know its about making healthy choices and portion control, if I’m to continue losing weight at home. “Now I know I can do it and I’m determined to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

£500k grant boost for university sports project DURHAM University has been offered a £500,000 investment to improve its sports outreach work and provide the best new facilities for its athletes. The Sport England grant will support a £6.7m project to refurbish and develop Maiden Castle, the University’s main sports site in Durham City. The scheme, named ‘Sporting Futures’ will include an indoor rowing tank, a world class fencing piste, indoor cricket nets and a performance analysis suite. There will also be new facilities for use by athletes with disabilities and an extended sports hall and changing rooms. The redevelopment, which is set to be completed by October 2010, will also help to expand the universiYoung people from the Cambourne Youth Partnership have been sharing their views and concerns on health with their local MP. Andrew Lansley, shadow secretary of state for health, visited the partnership as part of national youth health campaign, Make Space for Health. At the event kids took part in a cookery demonstration hosted by two professional Nestlé chefs to learn some quick, healthy recipes and then talked to their MP about

how healthy they thought they were and what additional support and advice they would find helpful. Mr Lansley said: “It’s clear that support is more effective when local organisations pull together to help young people on their own terms. “Places like youth clubs are ideal settings as young people always respond more positively to health support when they feel relaxed and at ease in their environment.”

ty’s community outreach work. Last year it ran community schemes assisted by over 175 student volunteers, using sport to tackle social problems and raise aspirations. At the moment the sports facilities reach maximum capacity during outreach sessions, but the new facilities will let the university to offer more opportunities to more people. Emma Hall-Craggs, assistant director of community outreach, said: “The university has invested heavily in its staff to deliver its three strategic strands of high performance, participation and outreach. This long awaited redevelopment will enable us to match this expertise with world class facilities, the combination of the two resulting in a lasting legacy for 2012.”

Blind football team set up in south east A NEW regional blind football team has been set up in the South East. The Middlesex and Home Counties Blind Team will be led by FA qualified coaches employed by Middlesex County FA and will represent the

region in the National Blind League. The Football Association are establishing Area Blind Teams across the country as part of the Playground to Podium programme by working in partnership with prominent County FAs from 2009-12.




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Pupils’ hard work pays off as fitness levels rise by 6.5% By Louise Cordell PUPILS at Brownedge St Mary’s Sports College in Preston have increased their fitness levels by 6.5 per cent in the last year. They have been taking part in the Fit For Sport Fitter Schools Challenge, completing tests based on stamina, strength and skill, and the big improvement led to the school winning the Fitter Schools prize. Stephen Sloan, PE teacher, said: “We used our PE lessons to run the tests and get our first readings. “Then, luckily our lesson plans at that time were based around athletics, which fitted in nicely with the training and allowed us to focus on technique and building strength and stamina. “The hard work the pupils put in paid off, because after the next set of tests, we showed the biggest percentage increase of any school in the competition – 6.5 per cent across three year groups and 320 pupils.” Brownedge St Mary’s has been a specialist sports college for seven years and puts special emphasis on increasing participation. All pupils get a minimum of two hours of curriculum PE every week, as well as taking part in a range of other clubs and activities. The sports on offer include the traditional like football, netball and rugby and some more recently introduced new activities to extend and enrich the curriculum including handball, ultimate frisbee and boxercise. Stephen added: “We consulted with pupils when coming up with the new activities as we wanted to get their views and make sure it was a pupil led curriculum. “We felt that finding something for everyone would mean that they would stay engaged longer and hopefully continuing keeping fit even after they leave school.

Steve Sloan and pupils from Brownedge St Mary’s receiving their award from Roger Black “We found that bringing in new things benefits the kids a lot – many pupils who had lost interest were suddenly full of enthusiasm and asking for more sessions.” The school also works hard to make the most of its resources, adapting activities to make use of the equipment and facilities available. Stephen points out that there is a lot of funding out there if schools take the time and effort to apply. He said: “The main bonus of this prize is the new equipment we received, which will allow us to put on further new sessions which we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. “We hope to put together a package that we can roll out to other schools in our partnership – we believe that sharing resources is the way forward.”

Brownedge St Mary’s Sports College were recently awarded a new, fully-accessible, minibus worth £40,000 by the charity Lord’s and Lady Taveners, after managing to fundraise a self-help contribution of over £9,500. Stephen said: “This will benefit the school massively as we have a number of disabled pupils and this will help to promote inclusion in fixtures and matches and make sure they can get involved in everything we do.” Picture: Stephen Sloan and Annette Higham, the school’s director of sport, with the key to their new minibus.

Latest interactive fitness technology for Dorset schools A GROUP of special needs schools in Dorset have been fitted out with the latest interactive fitness technology. The schools are part of Cambian Education, the largest provider of specialist residential education and care for young people with autism and Asperger Syndrome in the UK. Purbeck View School in Swanage, Forum School in Shillingstone and Southlands School in Lymington have each installed two ZigZag sportwall panels. Clare Stockley, PE coordinator at

Purbeck View School, said: “We were developing the sports facilities specifically with autism in mind and wanted something innovative that would motivate the students. “As they have Autistic Spectrum Disorders they are not always willing to join in with team games, but the sportwall is the ideal medium for them to compete against each other without direct interaction. “They can play easily by themselves, but also in small groups without feeling stressed.”

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School rebuilt with health and fitness in mind ... LORD Lawson of Beamish School has been rebuilt with health and fitness in mind as part of Gateshead’s Schools PFI project. The school has been completely reconstructed on its existing site and an air conditioned fitness room has been included in the plans for use by students, staff and the public. As part of the new school’s ‘Fitness Suite Project’, research was undertaken to identify the right fitness equipment to attract and encourage training by a wide age group and SportsArt Fitness UK were taken on for the planning and supply of equipment.

John Reach, deputy head teacher, said: “The facility has brought a new dimension to sport at Lord Lawson’s as we now offer fitness modules to our GCSE work and younger students have an extra activity that is proving very popular. “External groups are also very keen to hire our facilities, such as basketball clubs, football clubs and the local athletics club, as very few providers offer such a well equipped and professionally run gym to supplement their core function. “Overall the project has been a very beneficial initiative to Lord Lawson.”

Awards focus on child achievement UKA and Aviva have announced the first part of a newly-improved awards scheme – The Aviva UKA Academy Awards. As part of the recently launched Aviva UKA Academy, the awards place emphasis on children achieving and having personal development recognised. This single UK-wide award programme covers the three main platforms of athletics: indoor, track and field and endurance and has been designed to be used in both school and club environ-

ment. The Sportshall Award is the first to be launched offering both primary and secondary levels a flexible indoor athletics awards scheme based on the worldrenowned Sportshall athletics programme. The scheme takes into account that whatever the facility, with support and use of the Aviva Elevating Athletics resource pack, it is simple to use to motivate, inspire and set forward goals for any child.

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‘Half of girls aged 11-16 restrict what they eat’ By Louise Cordell GIRLS start wanting to be thin as early as age ten and half of 11 to 16 year olds restrict what they eat to stay slim, according to a new study. Girlguiding UK has published the results of its largest piece of research to date, which shows that when girls reach age ten, they start to develop body image insecurities that affect their health for the next decade. The aim of the study was to look at the attitudes of girls and young women across the UK and quizzed 1,109 girls and women aged seven to 21 on topics including binge drinking, eating disorders, plastic surgery, sexual health and body image. It found that 24 per cent of 16 to 21 year olds would consider cosmetic surgery and 12 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds have thought about having a gastric band. The research revealed that ten is an important age when it comes to appearance - among seven to 11 year olds, just two per cent were not happy with their appearance but this

rose to 11 per cent of 11 to 16-yearolds. When it came to being thinner, five per cent of seven to nine-year-olds wanted to get slimmer, and this went up to 12 per cent of ten to 11-yearolds, and 27 per cent of 11 to 16-yearolds. The report stated: “A significant number of all the girls survey could name at least one thing they would like to change about the way they look and at the age of ten or eleven, a preoccupation with being thin sets in and dominates the next ten years of their lives.” A panel of young women aged between 15 and 24 were also asked to make some recommendations for addressing these issues. They said: “Magazines have improved significantly on issues surrounding body image, but free gifts of make up and cosmetic surgery adverts undermine these positive messages. “Schools should start focusing on self esteem at a younger age, for example by introducing high quality PHSE provision much earlier.”

Players from Sunderland Football Club are visiting schools around the city as part of a new Active Bus project. The scheme is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of the community by giving them access to the most technologically advanced body composition equipment. The bus has various pieces of health and fitness equipment on board to help teach-

ers and pupils meet the healthy schools agenda and promote physical activity. The equipment has been provided by InBody and provides a detailed picture of body composition, revealing the amount of lean muscle tissue in each limb, water content and body fat percentage. Picture: Sunderland players Fraizer Campbell and Jordan Henderson with local school pupils

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26 365 directory

Training & Qualifications

Interactive Equipment/ Dance Mats

YMCA FIT 111 Great Russell St London WC1B 3NP T: 0207 343 1855 W: E:

Pulse Dance Machine The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Pulse Soccer Centres The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Professional Associations Central YMCA Qualifications 111 Great Russell St London WC1B 3NP T: 0207 343 1800 W: E:

Cyber Coach Unit 1a Britannia Business Park Union Rd The Valley Bolton BL2 2HP T: 0845 869 2848 W: E:

Association for Physical Education Building 25 London Road Reading Berkshire RG1 5AQ T: 0118 378 2440 W: E:

Jump Rope Uk Ltd 16 Riverside Park Wimborne Dorset BH21 1QU tel: 01202 840590 fax: 01202 840577

Fitness Equipment

British Colleges Sport 2/3 North Street Workshops North St Stoke-Sub-Hamdon Somerset TA14 6QR T: 01935 823444 W: E:

Pulse Fitness The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

National Extension College The Michael Young Centre Purbeck Road Cambridge CB2 8HN T: 0800 389 2839 W: E:

SportsArt Fitness 2 Dean Court Unit 10 Shuttleworth Mead Bus Park Padiham Lancs BB12 7NG T: 01282 779234 W: E:

Sports Facility Development

Hexa Sports Ltd New Bond Street Birmingham B9 4EJ tel: 0121 7720724

Sports Solutions GB Suite One Copse Farm South Marston Park Swindon SN3 4UQ T: 01793 833456 W: E:

Training Equipment Crazy Catch Wall Tree House Farm Steane Brackley NN13 5NS T: 01295 816765 W: E:

Design & Build Pulse Select The Bromley Centre Bromley Rd Congleton Cheshire CW12 1PT T: 01260 294600 W: E:

Football Facility Build Goals Soccer Centres plc Orbital House Peel Park East Kilbride G74 5PR T: 01355 234800 W: E:

Climbing Walls Freedom Climber Cherry Cottage Guildford Rd Cranleigh Surrey GU6 8LS T: 07554 016220 W: E: Entre Prises Eden Works Colne Rd Kelbrook Lancs BB18 6SH T: 01282 444800 W: E:

Audio Equipment Sound Dynamics 51 Bridge St Belper Derbyshire DE56 1AY T: 01773 828486 F: 01773 828475 W: E:




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If you would like to advertise in this directory please contact James on 01226 734 672

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Future Fitness Dec09/Jan10  
Future Fitness Dec09/Jan10  

Sport and fitness for todays youth.