Children are fortunate enough to enjoy a range of team sports at school these days. However, not everyone engages with these kinds of PE lessons. That is why one school in Gloucestershire has revolutionised their timetable by introducing fitness sessions instead – which has proved very popular among its young students, and has even helped improve their fitness levels.
Manorbrook Primary in Thornbury has launched the Gymrun fitness scheme in its school for those in Years 3 to 6, reported the Gazette.
Instead of a football, hockey or netball class, Gymrun gets children to complete five fitness challenges. These are designed to measure their speed, stability, strength, stamina and power.
Through bodyweight training and sprints, pupils will be able to boost their fitness, as well as their overall health and wellbeing.
It is particularly beneficial to those youngsters who might not have the greatest athletic ability, and therefore, may not get picked for sports teams. Instead of feeling discouraged and losing motivation to maintain physical activities, these classes encourage kids to “achieve everything you can out of the ability you have”.
“The graded badge scheme enables you to set personal goals and targets. You have to put in the hard work and the end results will come. This is what makes it engaging. There aren’t many things that do this,” Gymrun ambassador and Bristol Rovers player Stuart Sinclair has said.
The challenges include running, jumping, and doing sit-ups, encouraging everyone who takes part to reach five basic fitness outcomes by the time they leave primary school.
A teacher from Manorbrook Primary’s Year 6 class told the news provider: “There has been a clear improvement in children’s general fitness as well as how they approach a task they find tricky because they see how their hard work can lead to progress.”
Indeed, getting involved in physical activity as a child has many far-reaching benefits. As well as reducing the risk of obesity, encouraging a positive relationship with exercise in adulthood, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it has also been linked with child development.
UNICEF’s recent Getting into the Game: Understanding the Evidence for Child-Focused Sport for Development report, which it produced together with the Barca Foundation, determined that fitness has a “powerful impact on their overall education and life skills development”.
The study concluded that those who regularly participate in sport have a high self-esteem, feel empowered, and are more likely to go on to become trusted leaders.
At Sisters n Sport, we actively promote the benefits of getting into fitness at a young age. Our classes are available for those as young as four years old, and even though children in the Reception year might not have the talents of older children, this is where they learn to develop important gross motor skills.
Indeed, in our Netball Tots session, we teach throwing, catching, footwork, teamwork, and target practice, all through enjoyable games.
If you want to get more information about netball classes in Redhill or other areas of the UK for your youngster, give us a call today.