Childhood obesity is a major concern across the country with sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diet contributing to a crisis which now sees 20% of pupils in year 6 classified as obese.
Physical activity has been proven to help with problems relating to poor health, mental wellbeing and loneliness.
With 93% of children stating they like to be active, there is a clear, overwhelming desire for more opportunities and better access, which must now be delivered.
Serious concerns about the current health, wellbeing and physical activity outcomes for children and young people, led the Alliance to publish the report: ‘Why are we failing our children?’ in July 2018.
This research finds that over 40 years of political turbulence and a lack of consistency or long-term strategy have combined to create an inactive nation.
Sport and Recreation Alliance CEO, Emma Boggis, said: “We want to live in a country where every child has the opportunity to be physically active and is active enough to be healthy and happy.
“This petition pushes our political leaders to commit to meaningful change and allows the public to show how strongly they feel about an issue that has now become a crisis.
“We all need to take responsibility – this doesn’t just lie with the current government, successive governments over the last forty years have failed to take long term action and it falls upon all of us to demand serious action is taken and proactively work towards building more active communities.”
Former England Rugby World Cup winner Maggie Alphonsi MBE has backed the call for better opportunities to be active.
The Rugby Union Hall of Fame star added: “I’m proud to support the #RightToBeActive campaign. For as long as I can remember, being active has been a key part of my identity and my lifestyle.
“From my childhood to playing at the highest level of rugby for England, I’ve been lucky to feel the benefits of an active lifestyle. It’s a tragedy that so many children don’t have the same opportunities and that’s why I back the fundamental right of all children to be active.”
The #RightToBeActive campaign asks those across society, including parents, to join the call for our political leaders at all levels to take radical action and embed the fundamental right of all children to be active in policy, regulations and legislation.
Ahead of the Spending Review next year, the Alliance believes the government can show a lead by demonstrating that expenditure on children and young people is a vital long-term investment for the development of this country’s future infrastructure and economy.
If fundamental change is to be created, there must be a commitment to a long-term strategy to make sure that no child is left behind.
The Alliance is committed to working with children and young people so that their voice is heard and as a country we deliver a happier, healthier future.