The latest results from Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, which covers the 2022-23 academic year, shows that activity levels for children and young people across England hold firm after recovering from pre-pandemic levels.
Locally, the survey found that over 55% of children and young people are using active travel for their journeys. Activity levels have increased for those with a disability and long-term health condition but the gap between those from the most affluent families to the least affluent remains the same. The survey also found positive associations between being active and mental wellbeing.
However, there are still 53% of children and young people in England who are not active enough and 54.9% in Kent and Medway. The research found that inequalities remain. Activity levels have dropped for Asian and Black children and young people. There is a downward trend in happiness levels, especially in school years 3-6 and those from less affluent families are less likely to be active.
To help address these inequalities, Active Kent & Medway facilitate a range of programmes including Kent School Games, delivering 17 events in 2023 and working closely with the local School Games Organiser network and local schools to encourage the least active students to take part. Over 900 students participated last year, 49% of whom were disabled young people. 89 students also took part in the School Games Young Leaders training programme, providing opportunities for those students, who do not consider themselves ‘active or sporty’, to get involved. 35 of these students were disabled young people. They helped deliver six events across the year.
In addition to this, Active Kent & Medway welcomed over 100 primary schools to their 2023 Primary School PE Conference where information and resources were shared, to help local schools encourage more of their students to achieve 60 active minutes each day.
“Providing positive experiences to sport and physical activity will stay with them for life as the physical, mental, and social benefits are far reaching.”
Clair Bell, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services at Kent County Council commented: “Ensuring all children and young people have access to opportunities to be active is vital during these formative years. Providing positive experiences to sport and physical activity will stay with them for life as the physical, mental, and social benefits are far reaching. I’m delighted that Active Kent & Medway is supporting this important agenda across Kent.”
Liz Davidson, Partnership Director at Active Kent & Medway said “It’s reassuring to see activity levels have held firm after recovering from pre-pandemic levels. However, there is still much to be done across Kent and Medway to ensure every child and young person, whatever their ability, circumstance, race, religion, or postcode, has access to sport and physical activity opportunities and has the chance to take part.
We continue to work closely with local and national partners on programmes like opening school facilities and school games. We are committed to providing positive experiences for all children across the county but to tackle the existing inequalities, we must continue to focus our efforts on those who would benefit the most, both physically and mentally, from being more active”.
Active Lives Survey
Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People survey measures the sport and physical activity levels of children and young people aged 5-16 years across England. Administered by schools, the survey also includes measures for wellbeing, attitudes towards sport and physical activity and volunteering. The findings are being used to shape future policy and investment in school sport. Further information on the Active Lives Survey can be found by clicking here.
Active Kent & Medway
Active Kent & Medway is one of 43 Active Partnerships in England. Our principal funders are Sport England and Kent County Council, whose strategies set the direction of our work and activity. Kent County Council also hosts the partnership in its offices, providing support services, and is the employer of our staff team. We also work with and are supported financially by Medway Council and the 12 district and borough councils across the county. Our Vision: More people, more active, more often. Our Mission: Improving lives through sport and physical activity. Visit our website by clicking here.