A campaign launched by a Huddersfield sports education start-up to help tackle obesity and improve physical literacy among primary school children in Yorkshire has received the backing of local MP Paula Sherriff.
The Labour MP for Dewsbury, Mirfield, Denby Dale and Kirkburton has backed the campaign by Sporting Age as part of a meeting this month with co-founders Shaun Fox and Andrea Springthorpe.
Sporting Age launched the campaign in October 2018, in line with results released as part of the annual National Child Measurement Programme which showed that one in 25 children in year six of primary school are so overweight that they are classed as obese.
The education technology company’s founders have invested more than £200,000 to create a digital platform which uses data from a series of pupil benchmarking tests to produce stage-appropriate PE lesson plans that ensure schoolchildren are being taught at the correct level of ability in PE.
More than 2,000 primary school children across West Yorkshire have now taken the Sporting Age benchmarking test to asses their level of competence in fundamental movement skills including running, jumping, throwing and catching.
Co-founder, Shaun Fox, explained:
“The test allows us to establish each child’s individual ‘sporting age’, akin to a reading age.
“The test data is then used to create lesson plans that ensure each pupil is participating in physical activity at the level which is correct for their individual ability or ‘sporting age’, leading to increased confidence and improved levels of physical literacy.”
Paula Sherriff MP said:
“Shaun and Andrea told me about their work to improve the physical literacy of young people and how they have developed an innovative and effective programme to maximise children’s potential.
“I’m pleased they are working with local primary schools to deliver this training and I’m delighted to offer them my support in doing so, particularly as one of their key aims is to reduce childhood obesity.”
The news comes following the company’s recent announcement that Ken Davy, Huddersfield Giants chairman and founder of AIM listed compliance and business support group, SimplyBiz, has joined Sporting Age as chairman to provide guidance and investment as the company looks to grow its presence in schools across Yorkshire and beyond.