Successful launch for active at school initiative

Pupils at Beaconsfield Primary School in Ealing, London have been the first in the country to take part in the Fitness Industry Association’s (FIA) new community programme.

active at school is an initiative funded by Sport England that is aimed at 10-15-year-olds to help them develop positive attitudes towards physical activity. It works by linking schools with local FIA health clubs to introduce pupils to activities they wouldn’t otherwise experience and give them access to qualified fitness instructors. Around 20 10-11-year-olds from Beaconsfield Primary School have participated in the six-week programme at Southall Sports Centre and have taken part in activities such as dodge ball, football, basketball and junior cricket.

Says Andree Deane, CEO of the FIA: “All the research shows that children are just not doing enough physical activity to be healthy. As far as our national child obesity issue is concerned, a major cause of the problem is simply the fact that ‘energy consumed’ exceeds ‘energy expended’. As an industry we have over 40,000 trained professionals who know how to create activity programmes for a wide range of competencies and, more importantly, how to sustain participating children’s involvement and motivation levels. That is why we decided to harness our collective resources and try to help parents, teachers and the government tackle this profound national problem.”

active at school has built on the success of the FIA’s Adopt A School programme launched in 2004. The programme has been designed to combat children’s increasingly sedentary lifestyles, childhood obesity and specifically addresses a variety of Government Public Service Agreement (PSA) Targets, including:

• To reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels by 2020 in the context of tackling obesity across the population (DH, DCSF and DCMS)

• To create more participation in positive activities and increase the percentage of people who participate in culture or sport (DCSF and DCMS)

• To increase the percentage of 5-16-year-olds participating in at least two hours a week of high-quality physical exercise and sport at school, as well as a further three hours a week of sporting opportunities

active at school is now set to roll out nationwide. To take part in the programme contact Alex Smith at the FIA on 0207 420 8574 or

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