Sunday, 22 September 2019

Children learn fun way to be active and eat healthily

Children learn fun way to be active and eat healthily

TWENTY-ONE children completed a holiday training camp at Sonning Common Primary School.

They were trained for four days to become Junior Active Leaders and finished the course by staging fun activities for 18 friends at the school in Grove Road.

The games included a variation on bulldog called penguin run and others such as Simon’s chairs and stick to it, which were similar to Simon says and stuck in the mud.  These were delivered by athletics coach Conrad Rowland and Amanda Watkins-Cooke, of Active Leaders.

The children, aged nine to 12, also learned communication, first aid, risk assessment and cooking to enable them to organise events in future. On the final day on Friday they each received a certificate to mark their graduation as an Active Leader. Daisy Driver, nine, from Sonning Common, said: “It has been really fun and I’ve learnt lots.

“The best bit was making the games and we chose to call ours penguin run because we love penguins. We thought the game should have loads of running and be really active because we are doing Active Leaders.”

Emma Fabri-Tascon, nine, from Caversham, said: “It was really fun and the coaches were helping us if we got stuck. I really liked doing the first aid.”

Kites Kitchen, the school’s caterer, helped prepare food with the children, including hotdogs, chicken and a variety of fruits.

Chef Sarah Sayer said: “It has been amazing helping the children and it just shows there’s a real demand for this sort of thing, which is quite tricky to do in term time. The children just loved it.”

Penny Snowden, who set up Active Leaders, said: “This is the first time we have run it as a holiday camp and it was fantastic.

“When the children go back to school and join years 5 and 6 next term, they will be able to lead games and other activities with the other children.

“The headteacher here has already made a list of playground games he wants the children to be leading and they can also be a great support, particularly with children who find playtimes challenging and can benefit from the buddying-up and friendship. 

“They will also support the school council and the captains of the sports teams. One interesting thing we have found is children who find school challenging have loved coming and getting active.

“Another thing they have done is make their own healthy lunches, eating and preparing a range of foods every morning.

“We need to make sure there are things going on for the children which back up what is happening in school and this seems to be working in filling a gap. The kids feel more confident and learn a range of life skills by taking part. All I hope is what we have been able to start here is not knocked out of them.”

In the past year, the Active Leaders programme has been delivered in schools and holiday camps across the Thames Valley and further afield. 

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