Yorkshire Sport Foundation Chief Executive, Nigel Harrison, has reacted to the first annual survey into attitudes of children and young people to exercise and sport.
Among the five main findings from the report, is that physically literate children do twice as much activity as those who are not. Physical literacy includes enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge.
Although 68% of children surveyed said they understood why sport and physical activity is good for them, enjoyment is the biggest reason why they are active.
“It’s important we understand what it is about sport and physical activity that children enjoy,” commented Nigel.
“One child may enjoy the competitive nature of sport, whereas another may enjoy the social side of being physically active. We must work with schools, clubs, and other partners across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, to ensure that there is something out there for every child.
“If it was ever in any doubt, these results emphasise the fact that there isn’t a one-size fits all approach.”
The results once again highlighted the inequalities that exist, with 15% fewer girls enjoying sport compared to boys. Children from the least affluent families are less likely to enjoy sport, and this is reflected in lower activity levels.
“Although this is new research, the patterns of responses are nothing new. It’s our role as an Active Partnership to influence and connect with other sectors – such as those in education – so that we find ways of doing things differently, otherwise these patterns will continue.
“One way we’re already doing this is through our Centres of Excellence. There are a number of schools who are fantastic examples of how sport and physical activity not only helps to nurture a child who is healthy in both mind and body, but can also have a positive impact on attainment.
“We need to continue to share these examples of best practice so that other schools see what can be achieved. These results are a challenge to all of us to think if we’re really doing all we can to give children the best chance of creating a physical activity habit for life.”