A recent report by Sport England has shown that almost half of the children in this country are doing an average of 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day.

The figures provided in the survey show that there was a 3.6% increase compared to last year’s results, with government guidelines recommending that children and young people should get 30 minutes of their daily physical activity in the school day and an extra 30 minutes outside of school too.

Salford Community Leisure’s sport and swimming manager, Marie Leather, commented on the news of the results and how the Leisure centre is making its contribution to the change.

She said: “We’re delighted to hear of the increase in children participating in sport and believe it is a combination of the ongoing awareness of how important physical activity is for kids amongst parents and carers, and the sports facilities that are provided in local communities and at school.

“Salford Community Leisure provides children aged 0-16 and beyond with a huge range of accessible and affordable sports activities to get children moving from swimming and Swim Safe sessions to teen fitness classes, junior memberships for 11-17s, gymnastics, dance, football and much more.”

Light Oaks Junior school in Salford has recently won the Salford Sports Network Primary School of the Year Award. Physical Education coordinator of the School, Lucy Bird, spoke about the importance of activity in children’s lives and the positive note of the results.

She said: “We always want to make sure that children are being active in and out of school, it’s trying to relate to every child. So some children aren’t as academic in Maths and English, we try and push that through sport and making sure they are feeling well in school every day.”

Lucy spoke about the facilities that are available in Salford and the improvement of the sports available to children.

Salford Sports Network Award. Image Credit: Eoin Togher

“It is definitely getting better,” she admitted. “There are a lot of local clubs that have been in contact with us and want to make sure that children are participating. We are trying to make sure kids aren’t on the streets as much, want to make sure they are going to clubs and different events that are being held.

“Salford community leisure do a lot of free events. Thats really helpful in Salford as it gets many children as possible involved.”

The results of the survey also showed that 29% of children still only do 30 minutes of exercise a day and, with the recommended amount being 60 minutes, Lucy spoke about how this number needs to change and how Light Oaks School are trying to help improve that statistic.

“We try to push at lunch times for children who can’t do anything before school or after school get their activity in, we have recently installed an outdoor gym, that’s open for everyone to use, at break, lunch whenever during the day. We always try to encourage children to use that as well.”

Lucy said the gym has been very popular so far and that the school are always looking to add extra curricular activities for their students.

You can watch the full interview below:

The results have been received as a major boost nationally and, in a day where children are renowned for playing video games and staying indoors, it is positive to hear they are still keeping active.

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