Movement, activity and sport play an important role in young people’s social, emotional and physical development and can provide a safe space for young people. However in Greater Manchester, just 36.6% of children and young people do less than 30 mins of physical activity a day, therefore missing out on the these benefits. 

Activity rates also differ significantly across Greater Manchester; activity rates are lower for girls, disabled children, children in poorer families, and young people of Asian, Black (African or Caribbean), mixed, and White non-British heritage. This contributes to longer-term inequalities in health; for example, disabled children are more likely than non-disabled children to be sedentary, placing them at higher risk of obesity and associated health conditions over their life course. These inequalities have also been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Childhood presents a pivotal point in a person’s life to influence life-long engagement in physical activity. It provides an opportunity to help shape the habits and behaviours of future generations, which is achieved by embedding the 5 elements of physical literacy: enjoyment, confidence, competence, understanding and knowledge. Children and young people also inspire and influence the habits of the adults around them, including parents, carers, teachers and support services – creating an influential ripple effect. 

Within these priorities we have identified some key areas we would like to share further information on, which collectively will ensure more positive experiences for children and young people in Greater Manchester:

  • Early Years – ensuring all children get the best start in life with a focus on physical development.
  • Active Education – supporting the education sector to take movement to its core.
  • Safe Spaces in the Community – creating positive experiences in the community for all children and young people.
  • Youth Voice – Highlighting opportunities and resources for young people to advocate for the importance of health and wellbeing and the connection to physical activity. 
  • Mental Wellbeing - utilising moving more as a way to support mental wellbeing.

For information aimed directly at young people and opportunities in Greater Manchester visit Greater Manchester Apprenticeship & Careers Service here.

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Get involved in Stockport's Access to Activity Forum

By Seashell Trust | 13 January 2022

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