Swim England proud to give its backing to National School Sport Week

The chief executive of Swim England has spoken of her pride that swimming is an integral part of the curriculum at the start of National School Sport Week.

Swim England is joining the Youth Sport Trust (YST) and schools up and down the country to mark a week-long celebration of the power of physical education and school sport to improve young people’s wellbeing.

YST National School Sport Week aims to inspire schools and supporters to use physical education and school sport much more intentionally to promote wellbeing and support the personal development of young people between 24 and 28 June.

The government has already recognised the importance of teaching young people swimming and water safety by including it in the national curriculum – much to the delight of Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson.

For some children, school swimming lessons may be the only opportunity they have to learn these vital lifesaving skills.

That is why Swim England has created resources to help primary schools deliver swimming and water safety lessons.

Jane said: “We know sport has a massive, positive impact on the lives of young people.

“That’s why we are working with the Youth Sport Trust and our fellow national governing bodies in sport to ensure this very special week inspires schools to increase their sport offer and give young people the chance to try new activities.

“I’m very proud that swimming is an integral part of the PE school curriculum.

“The requirement is that every child can swim at least 25 metres unaided, perform three recognised strokes and also safe rescue by the end of key stage two.

“This is just the start though. Swimming is a gateway sport to so many activities, ensuring people are safe in, on and around water.

“Good luck to everyone taking part in National School Sport Week. Enjoy all the activities and ensure this creates momentum for increased sporting activities for life.”

Championing the power of sport

Swim England will be taking part in the YST’s awareness week with a theme of ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ and joining schools, teachers, parents, young people and others across the country to show why PE and sport should be considered an essential part of the curriculum alongside maths and English.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive Officer at the Youth Sport Trust, said: “It’s fantastic that Swim England is taking part and showing their commitment to championing the power of sport to improve young people’s lives.

“The wellbeing of young people has been in decline and too many are struggling with issues that a good quality Physical Education could support them with. But four in five young people aren’t active enough and schools have been cutting time for PE on the curriculum.

“To turn this around we need like-minded schools, teachers, parents, young people and others to join together this YST National School Sport Week and show why PE and sport have an essential role to play in every young person’s development and the subject should have the same importance as Maths and English within a child’s education.

“The focus of YST National School Sport Week 2019 will be on raising awareness of the vital role of PE and school sport in helping young people experience the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’: i) getting them active, ii) connecting, iii) giving back, iv) taking notice and v) learning.

“I’d urge anyone who cares about young people’s health, happiness and success in school to sign up and join our campaign to improve young people’s lives.”

Anyone can take part in YST National School Sport Week by signing up at www.youthsporttrust.org/nssw.

The charity will share key developments and provide free resources with schools and supporters to help promote events and offer tips and ideas for getting the most out of the week.

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