SRA launches campaign to ensure every child has right to be active
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SRA launches campaign to ensure every child has right to be active

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) has launched a campaign to make physical activity a "fundamental right" for all children.

The #RightToBeActive campaign asks those across society, including parents, to join the call for government to embed the fundamental right of all children to be active in policy, regulations and legislation.

"Government must consider expenditure on children and young people a vital long-term investment for the development of this country’s future infrastructure and economy," the SRA said in a statement.

"If change is to be created, there must be a commitment to a long-term strategy to make sure that no child is left behind.

"Everyone can play their part and show support for getting our children active by signing the #RightToBeActive petition and bring this important issue to the attention of parliament."

The campaign has been launched on the back of a new study by SRA, which showed that 60 per cent of UK adults think that the society "doesn't do enough" to get children active.

More than 2,000 people aged 18 and over were surveyed for the study, with 78 per cent believing that parents are the most responsible for childhood obesity.

86 per cent of respondents also agree that parents should take more responsibility to get their child active, while 62 per cent believe that the government will not solve the childhood obesity crisis.

“Despite considerable investment, activity levels among children and young people have stagnated over the last four decades," said Emma Boggis, CEO of SRA.

“There have been many great initiatives from the sector during this time but there must be stronger collaboration between government, sport, recreation, education and parents if we are to get children and young people active.

“Collectively, we must deliver these improvements and we have to deal with the fact that the sector is not working and is failing to deliver meaningful change.”

Boggis highlighted Rackets Cubed – an initiative endorsed by former British number one tennis player Tim Henman – as an example of how joined-up thinking can achieve positive results.

The initiative combines physical activity with education, with youngsters learning maths and the benefits of healthy nutrition.

The project targets disadvantaged communities and often provides the only ‘healthy’ meal the children receive that day or week.

“It is absolutely right that every child has the opportunity to be active, healthy and happy," Henman said.

“Projects like Rackets Cubed show the value of collaborative working and in doing so create a tangible, positive impact for children who need the most support.”

Boggis added: “This is a fantastic illustration of how we can create a better environment for our children and young people to be active.

“Rackets Cubed is an example of a sustainable model that delivers a real impact; using pre-existing, under-utilised sporting infrastructure which is often found on the doorsteps of communities we should try to reach.”

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The Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) has launched a campaign to make physical activity a "fundamental right" for all children.
JP Lennard
JP Lennard