Intelligent Health is backing the “Summer of Play” pledge
The organisers of the popular Beat the Street are backing Playing Out’s ‘Summer of Play’ campaign to help children to get back outdoors again safely as lockdown eases.
Lockdown has been hard on everyone, but research shows that children aged between five and 12 have been hit the hardest, particularly children without siblings.
The organisation Playing Out is calling for a Summer of Play where all adults, parents, teachers, drivers and sports clubs are encouraged to help children to play out safely with other children.
The Beat the Street physical activity game shares the same goal of getting families outdoors together safely and is about to launch summer Beat the Street games across Barnsley, Leicester, Wokingham and Sheffield. Games have recently reached a conclusion in Hamilton and Blantyre, Derby and Rotherham, meaning that in total, more than 100,000 children will be helped by Beat the Street to get outside with their families and helped to explore their local green spaces safely.
The Beat the Street games have proved to be incredibly successful in engaging communities and encouraging mass participation, and will be vital post lockdown, with 70% of adults who were inactive when they registered pre-game, were lifted into activity six months later. Among children, 74% of children who were ‘less active’ when they registered to take part before the game were lifted into activity six months later.
According to Sport England’s Children’s experience of physical activity in lockdown insight report from July 2020, just 19% of children under 16 were reaching 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. This is down from 46.8% pre-COVID daily levels.
Dr William Bird, a GP and CEO of Intelligent Health, the company that delivers Beat the Street, said: “There is much work to be done to encourage people back out of their homes once restrictions ease.
“Hopefully, there is an end in sight, but if there is a future COVID spike, we’d ask the government to ensure there is clarity about meeting friends outside to play and to really underline the message that outside play is essential and should be allowed.”
“Play is vital for children’s development as they work out how to co-operate with other children and develop the skills of balance, co-ordination and fitness. There are also other benefits specific to play in nature that help develop parts of the brain that deal with learning and even help all their cells become more resilient to ageing.”
To join us in the #SummerofPlay campaign, please pledge your support for children’s wellbeing and recovery by making time and safe space for play:
1. Fun – We will find ways for children to have fun and express themselves through play.
2. Friends – We will ensure children have opportunities to play with their friends and peers.
3. Freedom – Throughout the summer, we will give children space, time and opportunities for free play.
For lots of advice and resources to help you support children’s play this summer, and celebrate Playday, visit www.playengland, www.playingout.net, www.playboard.org, www.playscotland.org, www.playwales.org.uk, www.playday.org.uk