Youth Sport Trust unveils national strategy to halt decline in physical wellbeing

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:

A national children’s charity has launched a new four-year strategy to use sport to halt the decline in children’s physical, mental and social wellbeing.

The Youth Sport Trust warns that many children and young people are ill-equipped to deal with the day-to-day challenges of the 21st century. Working with teachers, parents and coaches, it wants to help youngsters develop “happy, active lifestyles” through “the life-changing potential of sport”.

The charity’s strategy, entitled Believing in Every Child’s Future, features a number of key objectives. These include positioning PE as a subject that develops children’s wellbeing and not just their sporting ability, ensuring that youth sport is “inclusive, accessible and fun” for all, driving up coaching standards in youth sport, addressing the reasons why some youngsters give up sport, and increasing the number of sports offered by schools and local communities – so every child finds a sport that suits them.

Ali Oliver, chief executive of the Youth Sport Trust, said: “It saddens me that recent research shows today’s young Britons have never been unhappier.

“And while their mental health is declining, one in three children are now classed as obese by the time they leave primary school.

“This crisis of the wellbeing of our children is as heart-breaking as it is alarming and needs to stop now. We want to see a world where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport.

“Children have never been less active and those who are most in need of sport’s transformative powers are the most likely to miss out. Research shows that young people who grow up in a disadvantaged area, have a disability, come from a BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) background or are female are more likely to be inactive.”

The Youth Sport Trust has helped more than 4.7 million children to participate in sport and physical activity since 2013.

For more on the Youth Sport Trust’s strategy, visit


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