Sports charity gets Grantham moving
Physical activity is essential throughout our lives for our physical and mental health.
However, it is especially crucial for children to get into the habit of exercising so they can keep it going as they grow older. Exercise and good health lay a strong grounding for a good life – scientific research has even shown that daily exercise boosts a student’s GCSEs by a grade. Despite these benefits, international research has found British children among the least active people in the world.
Fortunately, our area is leading the way to get our kids active. Based in this constituency is the fantastic charity Inspire+, which aims to keep children ‘healthy, happy and active’. Although the organisation does many things, their focus has been providing support and training for schools to run effective PE lessons. In visiting schools in the constituency recently, I have seen many PE lessons enhanced by specialist PE teachers trained and provided by Inspire+ to engage all pupils, no matter their level of confidence or ability, inspiring them with the fun of physical activity.
During a recent school visit I was particularly impressed to meet Sam Ruddock. Sam is a Paralympian cyclist, but he also gives up his time to teach lessons on behalf of Inspire+. Seeing the success of others who have persevered through challenges is so valuable for inspiring our children to do their best and realise that exercise really is for everyone.
During the lockdown, when many of us were stuck indoors, Inspire+ still managed to keep children active. They recorded over 80 videos providing lessons and workout tutorials to get children moving at home. Normally at the end of every school year Inspire+ runs the Mini Olympics consisting of over 50 schools and 2,500 school pupils. They did not disappoint this year either. By running the Mini Olympics online, they have over 4,300 views ensuring pupils were still involved in exercise.
Bottom-up organisations like Inspire+ are often the most agents for solving our society’s challenges. By being close to the ground and in regular communication with parents, teachers and pupils Inspire+ can understand what the problems are and how to solve them.
Nevertheless, the Government of course also has a major role to play. Every year the Government provides £320 million of sports and PE premium funding for primary schools to invest in and enhance their physical education lessons. The funding amounts to over £16,000 per school and allows the schools to decide the best use of their funds whether it is for gymnastics equipment, after school clubs or support from groups like Inspire+.
Getting our children moving is one of the best things we can do to improve their minds, grades and wellbeing – I am proud to have such a great local organisation helping to drive that locally.