The project is the result of a strategic collaboration between Widnes Vikings, Halton Clinical Commissioning Group, Liverpool John Moore University Centre for Public Health, Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children’s Services Vanguard and Sopra Steria. The project will reach 36 schools across Halton in its first year with the aim for the initiative to be delivered in other areas of Cheshire and Merseyside by professional clubs, ensuring the benefits are received by as many children as possible in the region. Its ethos is that every child should have the opportunity to lead a healthy and physically active life. Through targeting children in years 2 to 4, the scheme will work with over 3,000 boys and girls from September who will access a range of sport and physical activity interventions across a 24 week period delivered by Vikings coaches based around improving fundamental and multi skills.
Whilst engaging the children in the physical activity sessions is a critical part of the ‘Game Changer’ programme, changing the habits of parents and teachers towards physical activity is essential. Through the scheme, schools will develop their own approaches to unlocking an extra 15 minutes of physical activity every day through their own innovative ideas and thus complete their ‘Game Changer’ pledges. The project also includes a range of healthy eating workshops where children and parents will learn how to ‘Eat Like a Pro’ in partnership with Halton Health Improvement Team.
Tracey Lee, Head of Local Government at Sopra Steria commented, "Sopra Steria is excited to be supporting the ground-breaking Game Changer programme and this important work in Halton to reduce childhood obesity. We see a significant opportunity to use digital technologies to provide children with a fun environment to encourage exercise and make the right choices to lead a healthy lifestyle. It is hoped that by laying strong healthy foundations in childhood it will influence behaviours to support a long term healthy lifestyle".
See the press statement from Widnes Vikings
Photos by RLPix