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PE plays a vital role in the wellbeing of our children!

Connor Bentley
Connor Bentley

Research released shows the power of PE in schools and marks the launch of British Triathlon’s Active Skills for Life Campaign during School Sports Week

British Triathlon, the national governing body for triathlon, is proud to announce the official launch of the highly anticipated new and improved Active Skills for Life initiative during School Sports Week (19-23 June).

This ground-breaking initiative aims to address the challenges in school sports provision, empowering children with the confidence, skills, and opportunities to lead healthy and active lives on and off the playing field.

The initiative was officially launched today with the support of two young, future stars of British Triathlon – Connor Bentley and Olivia Mathias. The two gold medallists treated children from St Bartholomew’s Primary School in Quorn, Loughborough to a masterclass in the skills required to participate in and enjoy the three sports which make up triathlon.

Recent statistics revealed by British Triathlon reveal the need for heightened action within schools and education organisations. 95% of parents in the North West believe that physical activity is a fundamental component of their child’s mental wellbeing, and 84% believe that physical education provision in primary schools should teach children the skills required to remain physically active throughout their adult lives.

Andy Salmon, CEO of British Triathlon said: “We know that children can establish, build, grow and develop healthy habits from a young age. Our latest programme has been designed and developed over the past two years and looks to address inequalities within PE and School Sport provision at Key Stage two and hopes to give children all the confidence they need to enjoy sport and continue their sporting journeys if they so wish outside of a school or educational setting.”

Further statistics show that 33% of parents lack confidence in their child’s ability to safely ride a bicycle on the road, while 16% express concerns about their children’s swimming proficiency before leaving primary school.

Helen Marney, Development Director of British Triathlon added: “These findings add to what we already know about competency and confidence in core physical literacy sports such as swim, bike and run. The government’s guidance says that all children should be able to swim 25m unaided and use a range of strokes effectively by the time they leave primary school. We know that only 72% of children aged 11 achieve this. In less affluent families this lowers to just 35%. As life skills, the ability to swim, cycle and run are important for young people to master early, enabling them to stay safe as well as continue leading an active and healthy life into their teenage years and beyond. We want the Active Skills for Life initiative to give primary school children the confidence, capability and opportunity to build these essential life skills and realise their benefits, especially those children and young people who experience greater barriers and challenges in doing so.”

British Triathlon’s new and improved Active Skills for Life initiative offers a comprehensive range of resources and activities that are both fun and inclusive. Its goal is to encourage children to embrace an active lifestyle, develop physical literacy in the core life skills of swim, bike and run and develop a lifelong love for sport and physical activity whilst supporting the curriculum for Key Stage Two.

Connor Bentley, GB Triathlete said: “I started my sporting journey at school. I was given lots of opportunities to try a range of sports and given praise, encouragement and direction from teachers, which built my confidence. From here I was equipped to try out at external sporting clubs and settle on my passion. But without the opportunities in school, I am not sure I would be here representing Team GB today.”

There are many ways schools and organisations, including holiday camps and third-party sports coaching organisations, can be part of Active Skills for Life…

The initiative offers a range of resources and activities that are fun and inclusive, encouraging children to embrace an active lifestyle and develop a lifelong love for sports. Schools and organisations, such as holiday camps and third party sports coaching organisations can get involved in Active Skills for Life in various ways:

  • Active Skills for Life Curriculum Pack: Schools can seamlessly integrate Active Skills for Life activities into their key stage two curriculum by utilising the printed resource pack and associated digital playbook which provides 6 week lesson plans in each swim, bike, run and transition skills
  • Active Skills for Life Summer: British Triathlon offers an exciting summer bundle designed to support deliverers of holiday programmes in delivering and engaging children aged 7-14 with fun and inclusive activities during the holidays.
  •  Active Skills for Life Award: Upskill teachers and coaches to feel competent and confident in delivering the Active Skills for Life programme in their setting, ensuring every child has a positive experience in swim, bike and run.
  •  Activity Hub: Available to Active Skills for Life subscribers, this platform enables participants to enjoy swim, bike and run activities from the comfort of their home, allowing them to share the fun with friends and family.

Andy Salmon added: “We are thrilled to launch the Active Skills for Life campaign, a transformative initiative that addresses the pressing need to empower children and promote active lifestyles. By providing accessible resources and activities, we aim to instil confidence, foster a love for sports, and equip children with the skills and just as important confidence they need to lead healthy, active lives. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

To learn more about this ground-breaking initiative, access resources, or get involved, please visit: britishtriathlon.formstack.com/forms/active_skills_for_life_school_membership

Olivia Mathias
Olivia Mathias
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