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British Triathlon launches Active Skills for Life Campaign

The initiative was officially launched with the support of British Triathlon star Olivia Mathias (Image: British Triathlon)

British Triathlon has launched its new Active Skills for Life initiative, which looks to introduce the sport to more children, while also addressing inequalities within PE and school sport.

Offering a range of inclusive resources and activities, the programme aims to help children embrace an active lifestyle and develop physical literacy in the core life skills of swimming, cycling and running – the three aspects of triathlon.

As well promoting triathlon in schools, British Triathlon hopes the initiative will help tackle challenges in school sports provision.

Andy Salmon, CEO of British Triathlon, said: “We know that children can establish, build, grow and develop healthy habits from a young age.

“Our latest programme has been designed and developed over the past two years and looks to address inequalities within PE and School Sport provision at Key Stage two and hopes to give children all the confidence they need to enjoy sport and continue their sporting journeys if they so wish outside of a school or educational setting.”

Schools and other organisations – such as holiday camps and third-party sports coaching organisations – can adopt and utilise the Active Skills for Life programme in a range of ways.

Schools can integrate Active Skills for Life activities into their key stage two curriculum through the printed resource pack and associated digital playbook which provides six-week lesson plans in swimming, cycling, running and transition skills.

They can also upskill teachers and coaches through the Active Skills for Life Award, which will guide them to deliver the Active Skills for Life programme in their setting.

British Triathlon is also offering a summer bundle – called Active Skills for Life Summer – designed to support deliverers of holiday programmes in engaging children aged 7-14 with fun and inclusive activities during the holidays.

The launch of Active Skills for Life comes after research by the national governing body shows that while 80% of parents believe that physical activity is a “fundamental component” of learning, nearly a third (30%) of parents lack confidence in their child’s ability to safely ride a bicycle on the road.

Helen Marney, Development Director of British Triathlon, added: “These findings add to what we already know about competency and confidence in core physical literacy sports such as swim, bike and run.

“The government’s guidance says that all children should be able to swim 25m unaided and use a range of strokes effectively by the time they leave primary school.

“We know that only 72% of children aged 11 achieve this. In less affluent families this lowers to just 35%.

“As life skills, the ability to swim, cycle and run are important for young people to master early, enabling them to stay safe as well as continue leading an active and healthy life into their teenage years and beyond.

“We want the Active Skills for Life initiative to give primary school children the confidence, capability and opportunity to build these essential life skills and realise their benefits, especially those children and young people who experience greater barriers and challenges in doing so.”

For more information on the initiative, click here.

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