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Survey shows UK parents’ concern over Covid effect on children’s activity

March 17, 2021

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A Youth Sport Trust survey has found that 78% of parents said that their children were doing less than 60 minutes of activity a day during lockdown.

A combination of at-home digital learning, restrictions and bad weather has not only reduced activity for the majority of children, most worryingly 11% of parents say their children have done no physical activity at all.

Whilst children in England have returned to school, many schools have a limited provision of P.E. due to safety concerns amidst the pandemic.

Evidence shows that schools across the country may not be able to count on the support of the grassroots sports sector for children in and outside of schools.

The digital, culture, media and sport select committee has found that as many as a quarter of these groups that supplement physical activity in schools, may not reopen after restrictions are eased.

Youth Sport Trust has called for an Activity Recovery Term, alongside rebuilding confidence in their education. According to the organisation, the emphasis should be on active learning, introducing as much movement to the school days as possible.

Richard Raynes, the CEO of SportInspired, has added his organisations’ experience of physical activity for some of the most deprived children in the UK:

“Speaking to the schools we work with, they have cut back on any form of physical activity beyond basic PE and even that has been limited. The second major issue they have is less space and resource to be active. Finally, there’s been major detonation in behaviour, due to lack of socialisation and contact with peers.”


Check out what Richard has to say about his organisations’ plans for 2021’s year of play, on The Coordinate Sport podcast out on March 21st and for more info on the effect of covid on children’s activity see here.

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