Promoting Health And Sport For Children

Wigan Warriors Community Development Department have today kicked a goal for children's sport and health by launching the Out Of School Hours Sport programme.

The programme will target High schools and Primary school-aged children to provide them with opportunities to participate in a quality sporting experiences out of school hours. This time slot is always a challenge for parents and guardians. The programme will provide a fun and active supervised after school care option for their children.

According to Government figures over the past decade there appears to have been a trend showing children becoming less active in that 3pm-6pm periods after school. For a range of reasons, they are spending more time in front of televisions and computers. The Warriors Out of School Hours Sports programme provides a genuine alternative that is active, healthy, fun and supervised.

Mick Hannan, Wigan Rugby League Club's Community Development Manager, believes the programme will also benefit the local community, sporting clubs and organisations by presenting them with a valuable opportunity to access new young members.

"By participating in the Out of School Hours Sports programme, clubs can establish links with these juniors who-with positive experience of the programme-may become the next generation of senior club members," Mr Hannan said.

He continued, "It is alarming that participation is on the decline and obesity levels in the U.K. are rising, with more children gaining excess weight. Obesity carries health risks, both in the short and long term, including heart disease; high blood pressure and type two diabetes is on the increase. This sort of programme can contribute to reducing rates of child obesity by increasing participation in sport.

"The focus is on building healthy communities and encouraging all children to be more active. With sport and health working together, it is hoped that the programme will be a positive experience for young people and their parents."

The innovative pilot programme that starts on Wednesday 12th January at Standish High School will be run in partnership with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust Sports Development unit supported by John Winder. "I feel that this initiative is an significant indicator of the tremendous work that the professional club, local authority and voluntary sector are currently doing to promote physical activity for all in the borough of Wigan. Additionally it provides a significant opportunity for young people to develop new skills in a familiar surrounding and ultimately provide them with the opportunity to experience the benefits of physical activity and healthy living"

The Out of School Hours Sports programme is an important part of the Wigan Rugby League Club's community Initiatives. The policy aims to create awareness of the benefits of sport and to boost the number of people participating in sport at a grass-roots level. The programme is also a key part of Wigan Rugby Leagues Schools Outreach Programme with one of its main objectives being promoting a healthy lifestyle through Sport. If any schools would like to be put on the current programme they can contact either Mick Hannan on 01942770437 or John Winder on 01942404983.

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