Alarming lack of school sport activity shows importance of sugar tax money

Sport England have released the latest figures for childhood activity across the country and while levels are on the rise, there remain a number of issues which are stopping nearly four million children from being active.

An eye-catching statistic shows that 60% of children fail to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity in school each day.

This drops to 43% for those who are inactive outside of the school gates.

Earlier this year the Alliance released our interactive map of childhood activity which showed that in several local authorities, over half of children were active for less than 30 minutes each day.

The correlation between these statistics highlight the importance to create a solution to raise physical activity levels during school to create happy, healthy and active children.

Responding to the latest figures Lisa Wainwright, Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, said: “It is welcome news to see an increase in activity levels among children and young people but the issue of physical inactivity in schools can’t be ignored.

“It is clear that the incredible work of our members is making a real impact and has contributed to a pleasing rise in activity levels, but this isn’t being supported during the school day.

“Schools should be a place for academic and physical development, and both should be given equal importance. They should be the ideal environment for our children to prosper in each of these areas.

“This report is evidence that the current system isn’t working, and we must be prepared to do more to promote physical activity in our schools.

“This includes offering more opportunities and a greater variety of sport and recreation activity for our youngsters to get involved in, which our members can willingly assist with.

“It has to be supported by substantial and consistent funding. This is why our general election manifesto calls for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to be extended for school sport.

“It was great to hear representatives from the Conservatives and Labour acknowledge the impact this additional money has already played at our hustings event this week. There was also indication that both parties would continue to support this crucial funding stream.

“We must now see a firm commitment from the next government to protect this revenue and use schools as the starting point to create an active nation.”