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SPARC and Ministry of Education Join Forces

SPARC and Ministry of Education Join Forces to Get Young People Active

A pilot scheme to help increase physical activity in young people was launched today. The joint initiative by SPARC and the Ministry of Education focuses on providing additional support to 16 primary schools in New Zealand.

Nick Hill, CEO of SPARC said " this pilot is an excellent opportunity for us to make some positive changes to physical activity for young people. SPARC research has shown that physical activity for some groups of young people is on the decline. The number of young people getting regular physical activity has dipped from 69% to 66%. This is a serious concern and we need action. "

The pilot programme will involve 16 schools, 8 in Auckland and 8 in Canterbury. The schools are divided into four clusters which are based in North Shore, Counties Manukau, Christchurch and greater Canterbury. Each cluster will have a full-time physical activity coordinator who will work to create a physical activity plan with the school. The coordinators will also work closely with the Physical Education Advisors who will be providing professional development for the teachers on the Health and Physical Education in New Zealand curriculum. The pilot will run for two years and will be evaluated to identify the key features that were successful.

" Physical activity is about more than physical education and sport at school. It ' s about providing opportunities for young people to be active in all parts of their life. It ' s about getting young people to enjoy physical activity and to want to be more active " says Hill.

A key part of the role of physical activity coordinators will be to provide links with community groups and to work with schools to provide additional opportunities for young people to be active.

The pilot has three aims:

Increase amount of physical activity that young people are doing.

To increase the confidence and capability of teachers to deliver the Health and Physical Education curriculum.

Increase the quality of physical experience and number of opportunities

This initiative is the first joint project between SPARC and the Ministry of Education who recently signed a joint protocol.

The protocol sets strategic priorities that SPARC and the Ministry of Education will work to achieve. The overall goal is to increase the well-being of young people through physical activity within broader communities.

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