The latest from our new EU funded partnership being delivered in Hertfordshire by CVSBEH:
Despite many successful stories (e.g. Olympic Games in London or Rio), sport projects across the country, which tackle obesity and increasing physical participation, are still one of the most important issues for local authorities, sport clubs and other agencies to address.
Problems of inactivity and obesity among children are not only unique to a single region or country. Many other countries across Europe face the same challenge – how to prevent obesity amongst children and ensure easier access to a healthy lifestyle?
This is why the CVS Broxbourne and East Herts launched the ON THE MOVE project in Broxbourne (funded by European Union Erasmus + Programme. This initiative is led by a Croatian local authority and partnered by many other European agencies from Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The project is meant for children aged between 4 and 7 years, who are at risk of becoming overweight or obese through low levels of physical activity. Each partner has prepared a programme of physical activity and multi-sport sessions for children as well as healthy cooking workshops aimed at the whole family. The programme in the Borough of Broxbourne began in October 2016 and will continue until June 2017.
After a period of information giving, planning and recruitment, through parents and schools, as well as working with coaches and various providers to set up the programme, the ‘On the Move’ project running sporting activities. These are delivered by our main partners – CHEXS and the Broxbourne West Children’s Centre Group. Sessions of 3 x 45 minutes per week covering arrange of sports and physical activities (e.g. swimming, exercise classes and family walks) are aiming to reach 80 children over the 9 month period.
Approach and Strategy
The project has already demonstrated that ‘one size’ does not ‘fit all’ and a range of methods are being trialed to build the confidence of participants. The project targets children who are often left out, isolated and not picked for school sports teams.
Those delivering the sessions gradually build children’s self-esteem and attempt to ‘enthuse’ a child and their parents. The project is keen to make sure that each participant is eager to come back to the next session. Each child is encouraged to ‘do their best’ and isn’t judged if he/she makes a mistake. It is also clear that ‘signposting’ identified families and children to activities which already take place locally or in familiar setting e.g. at local community centres can also work.
Working with parents
It is really encouraging to see that most parents are supportive. The delivery agencies are in regular touch with parents to tell them what their children are doing. Parents will be invited in to see some of the work and they will be encouraged to participate in cooking workshops to take place in the spring of 2017.
Michal Siewniak, the Community Development Manager for the CVS Broxbourne and East Herts said: “This project is all about working in collaboration and partnership, which has always been the approach of CVSBEH. It will be a challenge at many levels but it has a huge potential! The actual impact on local residents, children and their families could be fantastic”!
Take a moment to see this great video demonstrating key exercises for younger children!