Additional £10k for young people’s summer programme
Moray Council has today (Wednesday 3 March) agreed to fund additional support towards a leisure and physical activity summer programme following a year of limited access to sports for young people.
A partnership made up of Moray Council’s Sport and Leisure service, Active Schools, Community Sports Hubs, Moray Leisure Centre, Youth Work and voluntary community groups has had £10,000 approved to run an expanded programme of summer activities this year.
The initiative comes as research has shown the physical activity levels of young people declined during the most recent lockdown over the winter months. With sports clubs and community groups unable to meet there is concern for mental, physical and social wellbeing of young people as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.
Local sports clubs will be enlisted in the summer line-up to provide a free taster session over a week in each Associated School Group (ASG) area. Each week will comprise of a minimum of 10 activities and will target pre-school, primary school and lower secondary age pupils. The Active Schools team will co-ordinate the Summer Club Links weeks and will liaise with youth work and other local community groups such as brownies, scouts and church groups to expand the opportunities available. Moray Leisure Centre will also provide physical activity opportunities throughout the holidays to secondary aged pupils through delivery of strength and conditioning and exercise sessions.
Acting Educational Resources Manager for Moray Council, Kim Paterson, says the programme will re-engage young people in sports and social activities.
“We don’t know the exact cost of the pandemic to our young people’s mental, physical and social wellbeing yet but we do know there has been a severe impact, with many becoming more sedentary and less active, particularly outdoors.
“This summer’s programme aims to re-awaken interest in sport and community activities and give a much needed boost to those who’ve developed a less active lifestyle due to the pandemic. Not only will we see an increase in physical activity but we know the benefits of sport and socialising on mental health. This opportunity is key to us supporting our young people to progress out of lockdown and setting them on the track to success in future.”
Cllr Aaron McLean, chair of the Education, Communities and Organisational Development Committee, said: “I know lots of parents will be pleased to have some organised activities back for their children this summer and will look forward to seeing them return to action.
“It’s important we recognise the benefits to mental health, as well as physical wellbeing, this programme will have for our young people and their parents and carers. We’re seeing the light at the end of what has been a long and dark tunnel and I, for one, am heartened by this planned investment in activities.”
The programme of activities will be published ahead of the summer holidays.