400 primary pupils to help lead physical exercise programme in schools

Students and teachers at Whitehouse Community Primary School

Students and teachers at Whitehouse Community Primary School are part of the Primary School Multi-skills Leadership and Physical Activity programme which aims to involve 4,000 pupils in Ipswich. - Credit: Ipswich Borough Council

A new programme to get 4,000 primary school pupils active for up to 60 minutes a day has been launched. 

Around 400 children in years five and six at 28 schools in the town will become young leaders and help those in years two, three and four, to improve in a series of sporting activities such as throwing and jumping.

The young leaders will receive training to lead the activities which are designed to get young people to do a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity, which when combined with the activity they do in school gets them to do 60 minutes of activity a day.

The programme has been developed between Ipswich Borough Council, Ali Furlong - the School Games Organiser for the Ipswich area and Active Suffolk. 

Ali Furlong, School Games organiser, said: “It’s great seeing an idea we had last spring come to be a reality and with 28 primary schools taking part, it’s been a hit with schools.

"The concept of Multi-skills in primary schools itself isn’t new – but the way we are trying to deliver it and monitor progress and have the out of school challenges to try to encourage 60 minutes of daily activity is a different approach and this help schools with their PE and sport targets of supporting 60 active minutes.”

In total, the Primary School Multi-skills Leadership and Physical Activity programme aims to involve 4,000 pupils. 

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Cllr Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council portfolio holder for sport and leisure, said: “It’s vital we support children in being physically active and building a life-long love of moving, sport and physical activity.

"The leadership aspect of the programme is excellent because it provides those upper Key Stage 2 students with crucial skills that will help them further along in life and inspire those who want a career in the sport and leisure industry in the future.”

James Payne, senior development officer for children and young people at Active Suffolk, added: “At a time when arguably physical activity levels for our young people has never been more important, this project contributes towards raising these levels and encouraging the recommended average of 60 minutes of activity per day."