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Sainsbury’s has partnered with ukactive to pilot a new school holiday club for children in order to combat rising levels of physical inactivity over the summer.

The trial will see schools across England and Wales host ‘Active Kids holiday clubs’ to help children aged between five and 15 to stay active and healthy over the summer break.

Research from the ukactive Research Institute shows that British schoolchildren are losing up to 80 per cent of their fitness levels gained during term time through inactive summer holidays. Many children are left slumped on the sofa in front of screens, putting them at much higher risk of deadly diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type-II diabetes in later life.

The Active Kids holiday clubs will offer children a range of activities tailored by age group, including sports, games and performing arts classes. They will also provide children with a nutritious lunch and healthy snacks.

The holiday clubs pilot follows ukactive’s policy call for investment by Government to ensure more children have access to physical activity services over the holidays. A key recommendation is to unlock existing community assets – with 39% of sports facilities in England located behind school gates.

The clubs will be hosted by Premier, a ukactive Kids Code of Practice-approved children’s activity provider, ensuring the high-quality delivery of a structured, full-day programme in a safe environment. Premier will provide action-packed programmes that are delivered by fully accredited children’s activity professionals, supported by Sports Leaders UK trained and accredited young leaders from the local community.

Parents and carers will also be provided with a support pack which offers advice on ways to continue the good habits learned during the week, including simple healthy recipes and fun physical activities to try at home.

The pilot will be used to understand levels of engagement from children and parents, as well as the impact on children’s physical, social and mental wellbeing. The findings will inform the development of clubs and programmes in the future, helping to identify scalability opportunities to reach more schools nationwide.

The clubs will take place across 24 schools throughout the summer holiday, from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. From today, Sainsbury’s customers can redeem 200 Nectar points to receive a code to access the booking hub. Spaces at a holiday club can then be booked for £7.50 per child, per day, which includes a healthy lunch and snacks. A booking code allows customers to book spaces for up to five children and each child can join a club for up to five days.

CEO of ukactive Steven Ward said: “Today’s children are the least active generation ever and are more likely to lead a shorter life than their parents. Our research shows that there is a huge fall in children’s fitness levels during the holidays due to the changes in their daily routine around exercise and meals.

“The Active Kids holiday clubs are a great way to make physical activity and nutrition part of the summer again, using a safe, familiar and fun environment.”

Director of Sainsbury’s Brand Judith Batchelar said: “Sainsbury’s Active Kids holiday clubs are designed to broaden children’s horizons and give them the chance to try activities that they may not have had the opportunity or confidence to do otherwise.

“We know from speaking to parents that the summer holidays can be a difficult time to keep children entertained, so with our new Active Kids pilot scheme we hope to provide them with much needed support during the long school holiday. Taking part in a club this summer may be the first step in a lifelong passion for a new activity and perhaps even help create a future sporting superstar.”

To book a space at a Sainsbury’s Active Kids holiday club this summer, customers can sign up from today via: