National physical activity competition launches for children to win new outdoor school facilities

By Mayar Raouf October 6, 2014 9:10 am

6 October 2014. Children and young people could win funding for the transformation of their school playground or sports area courtesy of Disney in a competition to promote physical activity and healthy living, which launched today as part of the preparations for National Obesity Awareness Week 2015.

Following on from the success of last year’s campaign, the organisers of National Obesity Awareness Week have teamed with Disney to launch the competition, in which entrants will be asked to do something active every day for a week and submit a physical activity diary (infant and junior age groups), or devise a new sport or game with a set of instructions for how the game should be played (secondary school age group).

The winning entry in each age group will win funding from Disney for a new outdoor physical activity area for their school or early years setting. Two runners up in each category will receive a selection of sports equipment for their school or early years setting.

More than 20 per cent of children in the UK are believed to be obese, with only one in five local authorities allocating funding to tackle childhood obesity.

National Obesity Awareness Week 2015 is being organised in partnership with the National Obesity Forum and will take place between 12 and 18 January.

Dr David Haslam, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, said:

“Sadly childhood obesity continues to be a major problem. Part of the solution is to encourage our children to think about how active they are and inspire them to take part in more movement and sports, which is our aim with this competition. Last year’s competition, in which we encouraged children to think about healthy eating, was a great success and we received outstanding feedback from schools and parents. We are hopeful that this year will see just as many, if not more, pupils participating.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Disney involved in the competition and we’re all very excited to see what creative ideas children and young people across the UK will come up with this year. We ask all schools across the country to encourage their pupils to get involved.”

Matthew Grossman, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, The Walt Disney Company Europe, Middle-East and Africa, said:

“The Walt Disney Company is committed to supporting children and their families in making every day healthy lifestyle decisions, particularly when it comes to exercise and overall well-being. This campaign is a great opportunity to make learning about physical activity and healthy living fun and inspire children to create sports and games that can perhaps one day be part of PE curriculums across the UK.”

Full details of the competition’s rules and prizes are available on the National Obesity Awareness Week website (www.noaw.org.uk). The deadline for entries is 14th November 2014.

Last year children were asked to create a healthy recipe that could be included in lunchboxes.  The winner in the senior school category, Iqrah Shokat of Holly Hall Academy, created a chicken skewer recipe and used the £10,000 funding to build an outdoor gym in the school playground.

Graham Lloyd, Principal of Holly Hall Academy, said:

“Since Iqrah’s recipe won the competition, the installation of the outdoor gym has made a real difference, every day, to pupil’s lives. It’s used by many children throughout the school day, and because it was funded as a result of a pupil’s ideas and work,  the whole school feel a real sense of ownership around the equipment.”

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