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16 Dec 2022 57

UK Coaching's response to Active Lives Children and Young People Survey

Coaches have been and will continue to be key in supporting and inspiring children and young people (CYP) to return to sport and physical activity. The impact of the pandemic created many challenges and obstacles, however latest figures show the need to continue to tackle inequalities and be here for the coach, in order to support CYP in sport and physical activity across the nation

The latest findings from Sport England's Active Lives Survey show that CYP activity overall has recovered following the pandemic - with 47% of children meeting the Chief Medical Officers' guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of sport and physical activity a day.

These positive findings are encouraging and show the important role coaches have been in supporting CYP back into sport and physical activity. However, there is still more to be done. CYP from low affluence families are still less likely to be active than those from high affluence families. Also, CYP going to school in lower social-economic areas have not seen activity recover to pre-pandemic levels.

Heather Douglas, UK Coaching's Head of Policy and Impact, said:

It is positive to see that activity levels of children and young people have improved. However, every child has the right to be active, and we must continue to be mindful that not all children have access to great physical activity experiences. 

"UK Coaching's ethos is that great coaching is the catalyst for change and we will be working hard to be here for the coach and the participant, and ensure that positive experiences for CYP in sport and physical activity can be accessible to all communities. 

"We will continue to work closely with Sport England and many other partners to take forward our agenda of 'Uniting the Movement'.

"We are also working collaboratively to achieve more, and we will launch a new campaign in early 2023 that puts the Rights of the Child at the forefront of a Sport England supported campaign."

Other data from the findings show that there is even more evidence for the benefits of physical activity levels on CYP's mental well-being. Results also show that more CYP are getting active to help their mental well-being, which makes the role of coaching vital in getting CYP the access and knowledge to implement physical activity in their day-to-day lives.

Each year, coaches dedicate over 200 million hours to support and inspire others to achieve their sport and physical activity goals. Many of these coaches volunteer their time, and it's imperative that coaches feel supported to develop and enhance their coaching.

Through the delivery of great coaching, we don't just see improved physical health, we also see communities coming closer together, improved mental well-being, increased social skills and confidence, and new and closer friendships, all resulting in a healthier and happier nation for both CYP and adults. 

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