When you hear the term ‘mental health or ‘balanced lifestyle’ you often find it attributed to adults, and while this is important, it’s imperative that we don’t overlook its impact on children. In children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust’s recent 13-year strategy, it has outlined that things have become critical when it comes to the health and happiness of young people; unhappy and unhealthy children do not learn which ultimately impacts on their future. Therefore, having a long-term perspective on children’s health is more important than ever…
Inequality in children’s health
In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, energy crisis, and the tail-end of a pandemic, it is more important than ever for businesses to step up and actively support their local communities on a genuine scale. The current economic climate is applying more stress to low-income families and schools across the country, with the right support difficult for them to obtain. There were significant declines in young people’s wellbeing prior to the pandemic, but research by the NHS has shown a record 1 in 4 Year 6 pupils are obese, with the largest ever increase in childhood obesity during 2020/21. Similarly, the Youth Sport Trust reported 73% of school leaders said children had returned to school with poor levels of physical fitness after Covid-19. The results of which have clear links to children’s mental health as 1 in 8 children are unhappy with their school lives.
In conjunction with this, growing inequality is creating more barriers to opportunity that would allow children and young adults from poorer backgrounds to experience the benefits associated with physical activity. In a report earlier this year the UK’s then Children and Family Minister Will Quince, outlined “The resilience of children and young people should never be underestimated. Though they have coped remarkably well over the last few years… school is often the very best place for their education and wellbeing”. Consequently, it’s created a vital need to reinforce schools to not only provide a traditional academic education, but physical and mental wellbeing support for children to help them develop and prepare for the future.
NEXA and Youth Sport Trust
These reasons and more are why last year we began our three-year commitment to the Youth Sport Trust: the UK’s leading charity for equipping educators and empowering young people to build bright futures through sport and play. We are supporting their 2022-2035 strategy ‘Inspiring Changemakers, Building Belonging’. This research-led strategy will help children find a sense of belonging and raise public awareness of the impact of a life without play and sport. Communities are the lifeblood of society and at NEXA sport, physical activity, and the general attitude of ‘healthy body = healthy mind’ is a cornerstone of our culture and values. We have been proud to support some incredible charities but wanted to focus our attention and support on Youth Sport Trust which does a fantastic job of challenging perceptions of sport and play, inspiring Changemakers in all areas of society, and helping children and young people to build back health, happiness, and resilience.
Since starting the partnership, alongside our general donations, we have raised over £5,000 as our teams worked to cover a staggering 9,000km in 90 days, as well as Jamie getting ready to run the London Marathon this year to raise even more for this incredible charity.
Commercial and Fundraising Director of Youth Sport Trust, Jenny Rouse explains “We are delighted and so grateful that NEXA has chosen to support Youth Trust Sport for the next three years. Their approach to funding projects local to them as well as raising unrestricted funds through their sporting endeavours will help us to reach a large cross-section of young people and Changemakers. This support could not come at a more critical time as we work to help schools and young people recover from the ill effects of the challenging past 12 months”.
Looking to the future
The money we raised in 2022 is just the first step in how we are supporting Youth Sport Trust; we will be taking the time to continue raising awareness of the importance of the mental and physical well-being of children and the urgent need for equal opportunity. We urge businesses to do the same and help create a future of healthy and happy children.
This summer we will be hosting a charity golf day to raise money for this fantastic charity alongside some incredible local businesses. If you’re interested in getting involved as a sponsor, fourball or donator, please get in contact with our team today at email@example.com.