Spring into action to combat childhood obesity
Children are being offered free PE lessons in an innovative bid to combat teenage obesity.
Free passes for school children are being doled out to schools nationwide in an effort to encourage kids to bounce themselves fit.
Cash-strapped schools will be able to swap dusty gymnasium halls and knee-cutting Astroturf’s for foam pits, stunt box zones and Ninja warrior courses.
The keep-fit initiative has been launched by UK trampoline franchise Flip Out after alarming statistics revealed nearly half of children are overweight or obese in parts of Britain.
The move was backed by former Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, who is also an advocate of the sport:
“Trampolining is a really popular activity right across the country and it’s a great way to exercise, socialise and have fun. Arenas like this provide a safe and enjoyable environment for people of all ages and with different levels of experience.”
Flip Out co-owner, Richard Beese, who launched the campaign across 21 sites today (April 2nd) said: “We are in the middle of an obesity crises that is plaguing our youth. More needs to be done to encourage kids to exercise and keep fit and active. Studies have proven that bouncing on a trampoline improves balance, coordination and motor skills. We have 2.5m visitors a year – mostly children – and we think we have a massive opportunity here to play a crucial role in tackling this national epidemic.”
Trampoline exercise is one of the most effective forms of keeping fit and Charlotte Evans, Paralympic Skiing Gold Medalist, argues that the activity provides a myriad of other benefits: “It’s really important to have an area where kids can come down and be involved in sport and try something new. As a kid I would have loved to have something like this. Trying new sports is really important, if you just try one sport it can cause burn out and boredom. If you try a variety of different sports it brings new skills to the sport you finally want to get into.”
Steve Sallis, mentor with the England u15 national football squad and author of Educating Football, also backed the new scheme: "Having spent 20 years of my life working in the physical education of young children I know how important it is to encourage children to exercise, especially those at risk of childhood obesity as this can potentially lead to a lack of confidence. I think Flip Out's initiative to allow schools to hold P.E lessons within their trampoline and adventure parks is a big step in the right direction. Exercise on a trampoline is social, very inclusive, fun and it's so important for kids to try out something new."