Boosting physical activity and fun during lockdown

Monday, 22 June 2020

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A kids’ physical activity scheme supported by Oxford Brookes University has been reaching out to children and their parents during lockdown.

As we mark National School Sport Week at Home (20-26 June), the Boing scheme provides a welcome boost to children’s wellbeing and activity levels during these difficult times.

Originally offering face-to-face training for coaches to deliver inclusive physical activity in primary schools, sports clubs and communities, Boing quickly adapted to lockdown. The team, including Oxford Brookes lecturers Danny Newcombe and Kit Cutter, put together a set of 20 games that parents can use at home to keep their kids happy and active.

As Manager of Operations at Boing, Rory Phibbs puts it: “During these difficult times it’s become all the more important to encourage children to enjoy physical activity, and to support parents and coaches in delivering this innovatively."

The team also now runs a virtual course for teachers. Following 45 minutes of pre-course learning, they attend a 75-minute interactive webinar. The online training has been warmly welcomed. “The games are fun and imaginative, as well as easy to adapt” says one participant. “I’ve been using the 20 Boing at home games with my kids.”

So far Boing has delivered five courses to more than 100 participants. A further five courses are planned for the summer.

Their next steps include working with Street Games Fit+Fed in Newcastle and London, to develop a card-based resource for parents.  The project offers fun physical activities and nutritious and healthy meals to some of society's most vulnerable young people.

And as children start to go back to school, National School Sport Week at Home is a fitting reminder of the importance of physical activity in schools, says Rory. “As we come out of lockdown, giving children the space for playful, physical activity has never been greater, making a real difference to their health and wellbeing going forward.”