The benefits that come from taking part in sports and activities can stay with young people for the whole of their lives.
And encouraging physical literacy among current and future generations of pupils is one of the ways the government hopes to ensure a healthier nation.
But a report by the Youth Sport Trust reveals that fewer children are enjoying taking part in sports and activities and fewer are finding it easy since the pandemic.
Sport England, in its latest Active Lives Children and Young People Survey, says it is vital there is a focus on providing positive experiences of physical activity.
It reports that while activity levels are recovering since the pandemic, positive attitudes towards PE and sport haven’t bounced back.
So how do schools raise participation in sport and PE?
Traditional sports and PE lessons do not always appeal to everyone. And with half of parents surveyed by the Youth Sport Trust saying cost of living pressures have made it more difficult to be active as a family, schools have an increasingly prominent role to play in engaging young people in activity.
The Chief Medical Officer recommends young people aged five to 18 should be active for an average of 60 minutes every day.
But just less than half (47%) of children achieve that, with 30% doing less than 30 minutes a day.
Adding a Sunshine Gym to a school playground is one way to raise the profile of physical activity across the whole school community.
The Youth Sport Trust says many parents remain unaware of how much activity their children should be doing.
The addition of an outdoor gym will be a talking point for everybody – parents and teachers included.
Incorporating outdoor gym sessions into PE lessons is an innovative and creative way to spark an interest in activity even amongst the most reluctant pupils.
With multi user and multi gym configurations available, an outdoor gym injects a social element to exercise which is popular with all pupils.
Invest in staff training
Installing an outdoor gym at a primary school is a sustainable and effective way to invest the Primary PE and Sports Premium.
As part of the guidelines for spending the government funding, schools must invest in sustainable improvements to the PE provision which increase capacity and support the development of PE staff.
Outdoor gym equipment from Sunshine Gym comes with a 25-year structural guarantee, ensuring improvements to the PE offering now and into the future for pupils.
The installation of an outdoor gym will open up additional training for PE teachers as they are challenged to come up with new and interesting ways to incorporate the equipment into lessons.
This can include circuit training, child-friendly HIIT workouts and warm up and cool downs as well as training sessions for those taking part in team sports.
At Sunshine Gym we even provide a lesson planner, to assist teachers as they develop their own approach to outdoor fitness sessions for children.
Sunshine Gym equipment is designed to open up access to fitness for everyone.
School PE lessons can aim to tap into the skills and abilities of all pupils thanks to equipment that is easy to operate, free to access once installed and suited to users of all fitness abilities and levels.
Our inclusive outdoor fitness equipment includes opportunities for wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users to work out together while our UK-based designers have come up with safe systems which allow all outdoor gym visitors to work out to their own speed and pace.
The children’s range of outdoor fitness equipment from Sunshine Gym is built specifically for users under 4ft 7ins tall so they can enjoy a comfortable workout without having to over-reach or over-stretch.
And with a huge injection of fun, thanks to equipment like the Slalom Skier and Horse Rider, no child will want to miss out on an outdoor workout.
Active lunch and break times
Physically literate children recognise that taking part in activity is important for a long and healthy life.
A Sunshine Gym can help to encourage a healthy lifestyle by accommodating active lunch and break times.
Whether through a reward system or rota, pupils can all take part in active play times when an outdoor gym is available to them.
From the chatterboxes heading to multi gyms for a catch-up over a workout to the focused pupils setting aside 15 minutes to exercise on their favourite piece of equipment, an outdoor gym can appeal to children in the same way a traditional gym appeals to adults.
Those with parents and siblings who visit the gym in their leisure time are also likely to follow in those footsteps when their own version of the gym is freely available to them.
Functional outdoor spaces
An outdoor gym can bring a disused outdoor space to life.
As part of the Broxap group of companies, Sunshine Gym is an expert in the delivery of infrastructure to transform outdoor areas.
No matter whether the space is big or small, our experts can design an outdoor gym that delivers value for money.
We have space saving options as well as outdoor gym packages which accommodate large numbers of users.
Every outdoor gym we design adds value and function to an outdoor space. Our high-quality installation service includes the option to add safety surfacing to ensure an outdoor gym investment remains attractive and welcoming, while the single source supplier benefits from Broxap extend to outdoor seating, signage, litter and recycling bins, canopies and even cycle parking for an active school run.
Attractive outdoor spaces are well-used outdoor spaces and with the addition of an outdoor gym, children reap the benefits of being in the open air as well as the endorphin hit from a workout.
Activity is also known to benefit productiveness and alertness so by improving PE sessions in this way there are knock-on effects for other lessons too.
Call our teams today to find out more!