The project will see the structure of The Community Hub model backed by charities, sports providers and elite athletes, used proactively for the benefit of children during the holidays.
First piloted in London in 2020, it was a huge success and remains a part of the plans proposed by ex-education Tsar Kevan Collins, who announced his resignation this year.
With the support of sportswear brand Nike, the programme will expand to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool over 10 schools. Both partners aim to expand the project to 100 schools by Summer 2023.
The use of school sites during the holidays is not only patented to reduce inactivity during the holidays but tackle community disengagement and holiday hunger highlighted at length by the HAF Alliance and other advocates such as Marcus Rashford.
The programme would unlock school playing fields, halls, and courts which ukactive’s research has revealed make up nearly 40% of community sports facilities in England.
During the holidays, young people on average lose 74% of their cardiorespiratory fitness levels, and for those in lower socio-economic groups, the situation is far worse than their affluent peers. Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive added:
“ukactive is committed to ensuring that the Government empowers local bodies, schools, partners and our sector to grow this model because Open Doors represents the type of innovative and proactive work that is now essential to support our young people with the growing wellbeing issues, we see among them today”.
For Dan Burrows, Nike’s Senior Director of Social & Community impact, EMEA, the project represents a continuation of their efforts to become more socially aware. He said:
“By removing the barriers that prevent kids from moving – especially those from marginalised communities – we’re creating an active generation and a more equitable future.”
For more information or to find out the progress of projects set to make this summer the most active yet, see here.