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Keeping fit is fun & games with new campaign

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Welsh gymnast Frankie Jones is encouraging children and their families to take part in a range of fun indoor and outdoor games this autumn as part of a Welsh Government drive to get young people active and tackle childhood obesity.
Monday 12 October 2015

Games4Life is a physical activity campaign, led by the Welsh Government and supported by Sport Wales, Welsh Gymnastics, Diverse Cymru and the Urdd. It is aimed at capturing the imagination of children aged 5-11, with fun ideas for active games suitable for any weather, to get them to try new and fun ways to keep fit this half term and beyond.

The latest figures show that 26% of children of reception age in Wales are classified as being overweight or obese and that only 35% of Welsh children currently meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity, with this more common amongst boys than girls.

The figures also reveal a strong relationship between levels of obesity and deprivation, with 28.5% of children living in the most deprived areas of Wales classed as overweight or obese, compared with 22% in the least deprived areas.

Obesity is estimated to cost the NHS in Wales over £73m and this increases to £86m if overweight people are included. In 2008/09, between £1.4m and £1.65m was spent each week treating diseases resulting from obesity, equivalent to between £25 and £29 per person in Wales.

The Games4Life initiative hopes to engage groups of children who are statistically less likely to participate in sport and physical activity, with a focus on families in Communities First areas and working with groups to promote sport to those least likely to participate.

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, will today join Frankie Jones for a Games4Life activity session with members of the Urdd and the gymnastic club at Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff Bay, to officially launch the Games4Life campaign.

The Gymnastics Club is a partnership between Welsh Gymnastics and Diverse Cymru. Its aim is to encourage more girls from black and ethnic minorities to engage in Gymnastics and is part of a 3 year project to grow a sustainable and successful gymnastics club in Butetown run by the community for the community.

Speaking ahead of the launch, the Deputy Minister said:

“We are keen to capture the imagination of children, particularly those aged 7-9 years who often drop their level of physical activity as they begin to play more independently, and breakdown barriers that are currently stopping them from being active. There are so many benefits to taking part in sport and physical activity and it is wrong that many young people are missing out.

“We want to inspire children to put down their game consoles this autumn and try something different. Wales’ current sporting success, from the Rugby World Cup to the Euro 2016 qualifiers, have been great in raising the nation’s interest in sport, and I hope this campaign will build on this momentum. As well as boosting health, the games are something the whole family can come together and enjoy doing this half term holiday.”

Frankie Jones said:

“My main goal since retirement is to use my success to encourage and enable children especially girls to get involved in Gymnastics and Sport. I have been coaching and mentoring young gymnasts and children and visiting clubs and schools with Welsh Gymnastics to try and inspire and motivate the next generation. I believe every child should have the opportunity to enjoy and be part of sport.

“The Mount Stuart Gymnastics Club is a great initiative, I have been helping coach the children and encouraging them to be creative and have fun in the club while boosting their health and fitness – which is the exact vision of the Games4Life campaign.”

Game4Life Ambassadors are being appointed as part of the campaign and will help promote this in their schools and local communities.

Parents can sign up for a free Games4Life pack, including 18 activities, a fun wheel, poster and a sticker sheet to mark progress.

 

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Culture, tourism and sport 12 October 2015 Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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