Healthy Movers - Encouraging Young People in Cornwall to Move More

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Cornwall Sports Partnership (CSP) funded by Public Health Cornwall and working with the Youth Sport Trust (YST) launch Healthy Movers in Cornwall to encourage young people aged 3 to 5 to move more!

The Healthy Movers programme will work with Early Years settings in Bodmin, St Austell and West Penwith to engage with young people aged 3 to 5 as only 10% of children aged this age are believed to be achieving the Chief Medical Officer's recommendations for 180 minutes of physical activity every day which is leading to:

  • Children dying five to ten years earlier than the previous generation due to inactivity.
  • Children spending more time sitting down or not moving at a higher frequency than ever before. 
  • A higher percentage of children Reception age (age 4 & 5) that are obese and overweight
  • Levels of physical development lower that national averages and the trend is getting worse!

Aligned to Cornwall's Physical Activity Strategy the CSP with the YST and Cornwall Councils Early Years team  are working with over 24 early years settings and engaging with over 500 young people aged 3 to 5 to ensure focused opportunities for physical activity are delivered as part of a daily routine with a balance of free and structured play indoor and within outdoor environments to encourage young people to MOVE MORE.

Speaking at the launch Tim Marrion, Partnership Manager at the CSP commented: "We are really grateful to our Public Health service here in Cornwall prioritising physical activity to improve the health of our young people and with this resource available we hope to transform the lives of nearly 500 young people just by getting them to move more."

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Aligned to new research from the first ever Active Lives Survey for Children and Young People and the fact enjoyment is the biggest driver of activity post launch each setting will receive some personalised training, 10 interactive fun sessions with staff, children and their parents and FREE setting resources  and equipment for each child to be active at home.

Chris Caws, Development Manager from the Youth Sport Trust went on to say:  "We want to help create a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport. One of our strategic objectives is to unlock sport's potential at every stage of a child's life, especially where they face inequality or disadvantage. It is vital to get things right in the early years if young people are to fulfill their potential at primary school and in later life.

In Cornwall, we have the opportunity to achieve this to inspire a broader roll out. But we know this cannot be achieved by any one organisation or sector and through this programme we are excited by the potential to bring together families, communities, health and education. We know that by truly working collaboratively, we will make a difference over the next year which, in turn, will give more young people a better start in life."

The programme will focus on helping practitioner's, parents and carers to be active role models with advice on the importance of physical activity with practical ideas for indoors, outdoors and the home environment. It will also align to the Early Learning Goals and the work of the Early Years team here in Cornwall.

With this in mind Stephanie Wright from the Early Years team said:"As Early Years Consultants from Cornwall Council we welcome the Healthy Movers Initiative wholeheartedly. Physical Development is one of the Prime areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage for children aged 5 and under and the Healthy Movers project will fit in with helping us all to support children to learn in this area. Schools, Early Years settings and families will have opportunities to work together to encourage children to have fun as they move, which will help to tackle childhood obesity and establish enjoyment for physical activity from the start.  We are excited to see how schools and Early Years settings make use of the free training and resources and how this impacts on the children."

For more information on Healthy Movers in Cornwall please contact Tim Marrion on tim.marrion@cornwall.gov.uk or 01872 323344.