Fun skipping workshops, funded by the Public Health Agency (PHA), are encouraging children across Northern Ireland to take their recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Twenty-five workshops are being delivered by NI at Play to local schools to promote physical activity in a fun way.
The skipping workshops are a new approach to an old pastime as well as a cost effective way of getting a large group of children active and engaged in a short space of time.
Colette Brolly, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, PHA, said: “The PHA is delighted to fund these pilot workshops to educate children about the importance of physical activity. Skipping is a great form of exercise because it raises a child’s heart rate, develops social skills, improves co-ordination and helps build confidence.
“I would ask parents and carers to encourage their children to get active and participate in activity as a family. If children become involved in physical activity and sport at a young age, it increases the likelihood of them staying physically active in adulthood – children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.”
Increasing numbers of children and young people are becoming overweight or obese and are putting themselves at risk of developing a range of health problems later in life. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased dramatically in Northern Ireland with 8% of children aged 2-15 years assessed as being obese. Programmes such as the skipping workshops can help combat the rising trend in childhood obesity, as well as being really good fun.
Sharon Mac at NI at Play said: “The schools have responded really positively to the skipping workshops and all the children have participated so energetically that we hope the skipping bug continues to dominate school playtimes.”
Each school received a skipping pack that included 30 ropes of various lengths, including 4 large skipping ropes for double dutch, 14 skipping skill posters, a collection of skipping rhymes, a pupil tally to record how many skips or skills achieved and a range of certificates to encourage all children to continue to skip after the workshops.
Contact the PHA press office on 028 9055 3663
Notes to the editor
Photo caption – L-R: Colette Brolly, PHA, schoolchildren at a skipping workshop and Sharon Mac, NI at Play.