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Tweet Wednesday 11th December 2019

Children’s activity levels on the rise - Sport England Active Lives Survey

Source:  Sport England Press Release 

Children's activity levels on the rise

  • Almost half of children in England now take part in an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day – up 3.6% from last year.
  • The rise is driven by more children getting active outside of school – 57.2% of children and young people do an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 40.4% at school.
  • Significant inequalities remain in the areas of family affluence, gender and race.
Children's activity levels on the rise

This finding comes from Sport England’s ‘Active Lives Children and Young People’ report into the activity levels of the nation’s children and means that 3.3 million children are now meeting the new recommended Chief Medical Officer Guidelines - 279,600 more children than last year.

Government guidelines recommend that children and young people should get 30 minutes of their daily physical activity in the school day and 30 minutes outside of school. The figures show that there has been a rise in children getting active outside of school over the last year, with 57% (up 4.6%) doing an average of 30 minutes or more a day outside of school, compared to 40% at school.

As part of our 2016-21 strategy Towards an Active Nation, Sport England is already investing £194m in children and young people, within its remit of responsibility for sport and physical activity outside of school from the age of 5.

Activities outside of school that are on the rise include active play, team sports and walking.

At the other end of the scale, 2.1 million children and young people (29.0%) are doing less than 30 minutes of physical activity a day, and while that number is decreasing (by 3.9% over the last year) it is a reminder of how much more needs to be done. In the middle, another 1.7 million (24.2%) children are ‘fairly active’ taking part in average of 30-59 minutes a day.

The inequalities that were surfaced by the first report last year remain, with children from the most affluent families more active (54%) compared to the least affluent families (42%) while boys are more active than girls at every age from five up.

The survey also shows that active children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others and it has also shown a positive association between being active and higher levels of mental wellbeing, individual development and community development.

Active Lives Children and Young People provides the most comprehensive overview of the sport and physical activity habits of children in England. It looks at the number of children taking part in a wide range of sport and physical activities (ranging from dance and scooting to active play and team sports) at moderate intensity, both at school and out of school. The report is based on responses from over 130,000 children aged 5-16 in England during the academic year 2018/2019, making it the largest study of its kind.

ACTIVITY SETTING – AT SCHOOL VS OUT OF SCHOOL

  • There is a difference in the amount of sport and physical activity that takes place at school, compared to activity levels outside of school – 40.4% of children are active at school for an average of 30 minutes per day while 57.2% of children are active outside of school for the same duration – an increase of 4.6% on last year.
  • At school, increases have been seen for years 3-6 (ages 7-11) - however secondary school age young people have seen no change and the youngest children (years 1-2) have seen a decrease. This is seen across boys and girls.

The report also shows that significant inequalities remain when looking at children’s activity levels:

FAMILY AFFLUENCE

  • While there have been increases in activity levels across all levels of family affluence, children and young people from families who are less affluent are still least likely to be active (42% of children in this group are active for an average of 60 minutes+ a day, compared to 54% of children and young people from families of high affluence).
  • They are also least likely to enjoy being active – 43% of children from low affluence families say they enjoy being active vs 59% from high affluent families (a 16% gap).
  • Boys from the least affluent families are more likely to be active than girls.

GENDER

  • While there have been increases in both boys and girls’ activity levels, boys are more likely to be active then girls with a gap of 319,200 between the numbers of boys who achieve the recommended amount of sport and physical activity (51% or 1.8m) and the number of girls that do (43% or 1.5m).
  • In years 9-11 (ages 13-16) there has only been an increase in activity levels for girls, and not boys, with an increase of 3.5% (29,800 number) doing an average of 60+ minutes a day.

ETHNICITY

  • Asian and black children are most likely to do less than an average of 30 minutes activity a day.

Other interesting points to note are:

AGE

  • How positively children and young people feel about sport and physical activity generally declines with age.
  • Activity levels peak when children are aged 5-7, and again at the end of primary school (age 11-12). Children are more likely to be active at these points than at any other time during their primary or secondary education. Children and young people aged 13-16 (years 9-11) are the least likely to be active.
  • There are more active children than less active children across all age groups.

TYPE OF ACTIVITY

  • Active play and informal activities remain the most common way for children in younger age groups (Years 1-6) to be active.
  • Team sports become more common as children get older. By secondary school age, team sports are the most common group of activities.

MENTAL WELLBEING BENEFITS

  • Active children and young people are more likely to report higher levels of mental wellbeing.

ATTITUDES TO SPORT AND ACTIVITY

  • The first Active Lives Children and Young People survey showed that enjoyment above all other elements of physical literacy is the biggest driver of children’s activity levels.
  • The new survey shows that girls are less likely to enjoy being active than boys with the biggest gap between the genders found around confidence and enjoyment.
  • More physically literate children are more likely to be active.
  • More physically literate children are happier, more resilient and more trusting of others.
  • The number of positive attitudes is the key driver of how active children are.

The full Active Lives Children and Young People report is available here

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Tweet Monday 9th December 2019

Graham Patten has resigned from the Board of Directors

British Orienteering announces today that Graham Patten has resigned from the Board of Directors.

Graham’s resignation is due to personal reasons and increased business commitments. Graham has resigned with regret and wishes British Orienteering and the Board all the best for the future.

Chair of the Board, Drew Vanbeck stated: "On behalf of the Board of Directors and of British Orienteering, I extend our sincere appreciation to Graham for his contribution to the sport and personally I look forward to continuing to have the benefit of Graham's wise counsel.”

Drew added, “We are in the process of searching for individuals who can fill the vacancy created by Graham’s resignation and that of Judith Holt who is due to step down from the Board at the next AGM after serving the full 9-year maximum as a director. If you are interested or know of someone who is prepared to volunteer and help British Orienteering develop and advance its strategic agenda please do not hesitate to contact me or the Chief Executive Peter Hart."

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Tweet Thursday 5th December 2019

2020 World Orienteering Day / Week - Save The Date!

The next World Orienteering Day will take place on Wednesday 13 May 2020.  

In 2020, between Wednesday 13 May and Tuesday 19 May 2020, any activity held can be registered as a World Orienteering Day event.

Vision

The International Orienteering Federation´s goals regarding the organisation of this annual event are as follows:

  • Increasing the visibility and accessibility of orienteering to young people,
  • Increasing the number of participants both in the schools’ activities, as well and in the clubs’ activities in all countries of National Federations,
  • Helping teachers to implement orienteering in a fun and educational way and and to get more new countries to take part in orienteering.

Visionary course of action

Each club of all national Orienteering Federations gets in touch with at least one school.  As teachers might need help to implement orienteering so the lessons are a fun and exciting experience, the IOF is working on providing teaching materials in different languages. 


Find out more here.

 

#worldorienteeringday

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Tweet Friday 10th August 2018

World Championships Relay - GBR Men take 6th

The World Championships is beginning to reach its climax as it nears the end of the week, and Thursday Relay provided some of the best racing yet. Tight, fraught affairs in both the Women’s and the Men’s races provided some of the most exciting racing of the past few years.

The terrain was different to that of the middle distance, with a simple start to the courses in the parkland in the shadow of Turaida Castle, with a series of short legs in thick green before an early area passage, just a third of the way through. After this, the athletes entered the large hills of the Gauja valley, with wide forkings and wide routechoice options splitting the packs, before a long kilometre leg back across the hills to the arena and a loop around the parkland to finish.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

Proceedings began with the Women’s race, and it was Jo Shepherd who took the first leg for Britain. After an early mistake in the green, Jo settled well, but a short forking for Switzerland meant that they had already broken clear of the pack by the arena passage, with the pack trailed out behind them. To the 8th control, a difficult forking for both the men and the women, Norway through away second place, missing big and allowing Jo to gain more places as Estonia broke clear to join Switzerland. By the turn for the arena, Jo had clawed her way up to 10th, as in front of her the favourites were strung out, each choosing different routes on the long leg. By the end of this leg, and as they neared the arena, it was still Switzerland in the lead, but Sweden had cut the deficit significantly, with Estonia just falling off the pace and Norway gaining time back from their earlier mistake. Jo lost time late on in the parkland, handing over to Megan Carter Davies in 13th place.

Megan was quick out of the blocks and was already pushing through the field by the spectator control. Estonia was quick to fall off the pace in front, as Denmark and GBR worked well together, moving into 7th by the arena. Across into the next series of controls, and the lead would change numerous times, with Sweden, Switzerland and Russia all alternating. Norway was the fastest moving team in the forest though, with Marianne Anderson recovering the lost time from the first leg well. Megan was holding her own behind the leaders and was still working well with the Danes, but the gap to the leaders was growing. As the athletes hit the long leg, again there was no single route taken amongst the leaders. With Russia and Norway both getting stuck in the tougher, greener sections, it was Sweden who capitalised and moved clear, with Karolin Ohlsson using her superior speed to drop Jakob of Switzerland. Megan took a far wider route, flat but long, around through the arena, and though lost some time not as much as others. Sadly, so hard was she pushing that she ended up missing a control close to the end of her course, chasing hard to get in touch with the second pack for her teammate Cat Taylor. This meant a disqualification for the British women.

On the final leg, Tove Alexanderson of Sweden and Judith Wyder of Switzerland were neck and neck throughout the whole course, exchanging the lead when either picked a better line through the green. As they hit the long leg back to the arena, each choosing a slightly different route, refusing to run together. It was Alexanderson who had the advantage on the climb to the 14th control, breaking the Swiss runner and leading all to believe that she had got the gold in her grasp. An error on the 15h though, a hesitation through thinking the control wasn’t hers (perhaps due to the oxygen debt accrued from pushing so hard on the climb) and Wyder capitalised, kicking for home and opening up a gap on the Swede which it would be impossible for her to overcome. Behind, Russian had sealed the bronze with a textbook run from Middle Distance champion Gemperle, with Norway not having enough to continue moving through the field, having to settle for fourth place.

Photos by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

Across to the Men’s race and it proved just as thrilling as the Women’s race. With the same team for GBR as the team that claimed 5th at the European Championships, we knew that a great performance was both expected and achievable. Peter Hodkinson took charge of the first leg, and duly delivered the perfect start for the team. The pack was close and the pace unrelenting for the first half, with no splits appearing until the tricky 8th control, that had caused so many problems in the Women’s race. It was here that a pack of 5 formed, with GBR tucked in. Into a section which extended the Men’s course across the hills, which the Women didn’t enter, and Peter was sitting well until the 11th control where he made a small mistake on the wide forkings. 10th at this spot Peter gained back a huge chunk of time on the long leg back towards the arena on the 14th control and had moved into 3rd place. He would not relinquish this position and would change over just 41 seconds down on Latvia and Norway (1st and 2nd respectively).

Norway moved clear early on the second leg, but as with Peter, Kris Jones stayed steady in the pack, hitting his controls well and minimising any errors. At the front Norway and Latvia were pushing the pace, with the chasers splintering on the 11th control, with Kris slipping into 5th place 50 seconds down on the lead. On the long leg, the runners all split, with several different routes being chosen, and as they hit the slopes to the 14th control, and Kris had jumped up the pack. Into the changeover and GBR were in second place, with a 4-second gap to Norway in front, but with 15 seconds back to Latvia and Finland and another 30 seconds back to a larger chasing pack.

Latvia got the shorter gaffles early on 3rd leg, opening up a lead before the arena passage, with a 47-second gap to the chasers behind, with Ralph Street leading the chasers, but with the big teams right on his tail. Norway would move back into the lead alongside Latvia, with France now into 3rd place just 15 seconds behind at the 10th control, and GBR just another 15 seconds back. The packs all split at the 11th control, with the home team Latvia missing badly, as well as France and Sweden. They all corrected well though, and all the runners were strung out in one long line as the athletes hit the long leg back to the arena. Here, Norway and Sweden went straight, with the other 7 teams all going south and around, taking on the climb at the end of the leg. Sweden came unstuck early on the leg, making big errors and falling from contention. As the GPS lines converged on the 14th control, Norway looked to be in the lead and would hit the control 14 seconds ahead of the chasers. Up the hill, the chasing pack had blown to pieces, with Switzerland and France breaking clear of the chasers. With just the simple parkland to go, it would be hard for the chasers to gain back the time on Norway, who did enough to take a 4 second lead over Switzerland, who had dropped France for the silver medal. Behind, it was the closest podium in World Championship history, with GBR coming in an eventual 6th place, just 37 seconds down on the gold medal, behind Austria and the Czech Republic in 4th and 5th respectively.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

Next up on Saturday is the Long Distance, the race every athlete wants to win. It will be the final race of the Championships, and the final chance for some to salvage their championships with a gold medal. Make sure you are following @GBR on twitter for live reporting on the final race of the championships.

 

Full results:

Women:

1 Switzerland 1:45:03
2 Sweden 1:45:18 (+15 seconds)
3 Russian Federation 1:47:20 (+2 minutes 17 seconds)

GBR – Mispunched.

Men:

1 Norway 1:47:26
2 Switzerland 1:47:30 (+4 seconds)
3 France 1:47:36 (+6 seconds)

6 Great Britain 1:48:03 (+37 seconds)

 

Report by William Gardner

The Men's WOC Relay team. (Credit: Simon Errington)
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