Virtual challenges with 'health twist' help keep 3,500 children active

More than 550 children at Poplars Primary School in Lowestoft have been engaged in the new challenges over the past...

More than 550 children at Poplars Primary School in Lowestoft have been engaged in the new challenges over the past three weeks. Picture: Poplars Primary School - Credit: Poplars Primary School

A series of health challenges have helped to keep thousands of children active and engaged - ensuring a sports partnership is continuing to lead the way.

Primary schools from across Lowestoft, Beccles and Southwold have ensured that physical activity levels remain high during the the school day and beyond, with new health initiatives increasing participation levels.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the challenges.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the challenges. Picture: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School - Credit: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School

Reflecting on the evolution of school sport in the past year, Jeffrey Hoey, partnership development manager for the North Suffolk Sport & Health Partnership, has hailed its success.

He said: "Looking back over the last 12 months, school sport has changed a lot in Lowestoft and Beccles.

"The local sports partnership has a proud history of delivery high quality competitions and supporting schools since it was first established in 2005.


You may also want to watch:


"But in the last year it has seen its biggest ever evolution."

With the traditional calendar of sport and health festivals that the partnership runs annually forced to stop last February amid the continuing coronavirus crisis, events moved onto a virtual platform for the first time last March.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the numerous challenges.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the numerous challenges. Picture: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School - Credit: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School

Most Read

Mr Hoey said: "The transition to virtual challenges was embraced straight away, with 250 youngsters taking part in the inaugural gymnastics event.

"By the end of the academic year over 5,000 children, teachers and local families had taken part in the partnership challenges."

With children back in school in September, Covid issues still stopped a return to traditional school sport, so the partnership created a series of team based in-school challenges - giving more than 7,500 children some connectivity to others.

Mr Hoey said: "With the new national lockdown this term, the partnership has moved back to virtual challenges but with the addition of a health twist.

"As well as the seven sports challenges, health challenges are running alongside each one - such as Reading Challenges, Hobby Challenges, and Being Active at Home."

One of the Poplars Primary School pupils in Lowestoft who has been engaged in the new challenges over the past three weeks.

One of the Poplars Primary School pupils in Lowestoft who has been engaged in the new challenges over the past three weeks. Picture: Poplars Primary School - Credit: Poplars Primary School

The approach has been "very successful" with more than 3,500 children having already taken part in the last three weeks.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the challenges.

Woods Loke Primary School pupils have been engaging in the challenges. Picture: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School - Credit: Courtesy of Woods Loke Primary School

"This is 50 per cent more than our normal take up which was already the highest in Suffolk," Mr Hoey added. 

"This success has been down to all the hard work of teachers, families and Mr Forwood - from Roman Hill - who came up with the health challenge concepts.

"Throughout the pandemic our schools have been amazing in supporting our virtual challenges and creating their own personal challenges and health programmes for their children and families.

"This movement towards getting children moving has been a real success story for Lowestoft and Beccles, with other areas of the country using our methods and challenges to try and emulate the success we have achieved."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus