Did you know that 81% of children and young people in Jersey do not meet the World Health Organisation’s recommended guidelines for physical activity? Children should be participating in 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per day.
School to Sport is a Jersey Sport programme designed to help combat inactivity amongst the island’s school children and help break down barriers into physical activity by introducing more children to sport, as part of the Inspiring an Active Jersey Strategy.
The programme involves children being introduced to a number of different local sports clubs in their area, after school. Jersey Sport coaches support the children to travel to the sports club after school, by safely walking them there, with their parents collecting them afterwards. During School to Sport sessions, they participate at the sports club with their friends, have fun and meet the sports coaches – this is a great opportunity for children to experience the feel good factor and positivity associated with playing sport and become familiar with playing sport in their own time.
The funding secured for this pilot scheme means it’s FREE. Each child taking part in the scheme is provided with a School to Sport branded t-shirt and is given a healthy snack when they finish school, to keep their energy levels up before playing sport. The children who have then taken an interest in the sport will also be given a club membership, sports kit and sports equipment to continue playing their chosen sport – something which they may not otherwise be able to afford.
This School to Sport scheme has been made possible by Jersey Sport and the Commonwealth Games Association of Jersey applying for, and successfully securing, a Game Changers Grant from the Commonwealth Sport Foundation – the national body associated with the Commonwealth Games Federation.
The Commonwealth Games Federation is the organisation that is responsible for the direction and control of the Commonwealth Games, and for delivering on the vision of the Commonwealth Sports Movement: to build peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities globally by inspiring Commonwealth Athletes to drive the impact and ambition of all Commonwealth Citizens through Sport.
Our School to Sport initiative started in 2021, by working with 24 children from Year 4 at Plat Douet School who were put in small groups on different days by Jersey Sport coaches to play table tennis, golf and squash as soon as they finished their school day. Through research, including Jersey Sport undertaking physical literacy testing in the school, pupils who were currently not part of any sports club and who would benefit from doing more physical activity, were identified to take part in the pilot scheme.
Phil Walker, Headteacher at Plat Douet School said, “We’re thrilled some of our students took part in this pilot scheme to help increase their fitness and wellbeing.
The physical literacy work undertaken by Jersey Sport at the school has been invaluable to help identify where physical activity needs to be increased amongst our young people. School to Sport is introducing our students to the experience of playing sport, which unfortunately is something they’ve not all had the chance to do.
We’re totally committed to the scheme and would love to see it rolled out to help benefit more local children.”
Meet Anna Sonia, a 9 year old girl who started her School to Sport journey with Jersey Sport just before the COVID-19 pandemic and discovered that table tennis was “really good fun”! Luckily, she was able to continue with the sport once restrictions eased and began practicing 2-3 times a week. Her skills improved quickly and in 2022 she was selected to compete in the Home Nations Table Tennis Tournament in Guernsey in April.
You can read Anna’s full story by clicking the button below:
For enquiries about the Jersey Sport School to Sport programme, please contact Elliot Powell, Children and Schools Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org