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ukactive has issued the following statement in response to the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey published by Sport England today (9 December)

Huw Edwards, CEO at ukactive, said: “We welcome the latest insight that Sport England’s Active Lives Survey for children and young people brings, clearly laying out the scale and severity of the challenge ahead.

“While it is positive to see no overall decrease in activity levels, compared to last year, it is clear that stark inequalities remain entrenched for many children across the country – inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“National lockdown measures and restrictions have had a heavy impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of children and young people, and it is imperative that, with uncertain times ahead, schools and children’s sport and activity providers are able to continue to provide fun, inclusive and safe opportunities for children and young people to be active.”

“Sport and physical activity in education and community settings provide invaluable opportunities for children to develop physically, socially and emotionally, and in many cases, forms respite services and a vital safety net for the most vulnerable – both schools and the physical activity sector should be commended for their efforts and innovation during the pandemic to provide this access.”

“This is why ukactive is urging Government to act now, by formulating and executing an ambitious and long-term cross-government plan to get children moving again – one that places a firm focus on fun and building confidence, and one that empowers and enables schools, communities and families to support children and young people to return to sport and physical activity.”

“Children and young people have sacrificed great amounts over the course of the pandemic and it is now more important than ever to invest in their health and wellbeing.”

“ukactive and its members remain committed to working side by side with Sport England and the Government to create as many positive experiences and accessible opportunities as possible for all children and young people to choose and enjoy an active life.”