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Healthy Movers initiative launched in Hartlepool

Supporting children to start school in a healthy, happy and positive way is the focus of a new early years initiative launched in Hartlepool.


Healthy Movers aims to equip staff from schools and other day care settings with the necessary skills and tools to assist them in developing children’s physical development and wellbeing, and to give them the knowledge and confidence to plan and deliver high-quality children’s activities and play.


The ultimate goal is to support children’s social and emotional development, and to create healthy, active learners.


Healthy Movers which has been running successfully in other areas of the country for over five years with lots of positive outcomes, has been developed by children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and is being run locally in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council, the PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport CIC.


The first group of local educators to benefit from the programme recently underwent training at Hartlepool Borough Council’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Brierton Lane.


Alongside this, the project will also look to engage with parents because the earlier physical activity can be embedded as part of everyday life, the more likely that habit is to stick.


Ali Oliver, CEO of Youth Sport Trust, said: “Government advice says children under five “should spend at least 180 minutes a day doing a variety of physical activities, including active and outdoor play”, but unfortunately, research shows only 19% of children are currently meeting this target.  The impact of this is not only felt on children’s physical, social and emotional development, it can also inhibit the speech and language benefits that come from active, playful environments and time engaging with other children.


“Healthy Movers is an evidence-based intervention which supports practitioners and parents to prioritise and support play as part of the education and development of children in their early years, and I am delighted and excited to see this vital programme being launched in Hartlepool.”


Councillor Jim Lindridge, Chair of Hartlepool Borough Council’s Children’s Services Committee, said: “As an authority, we have an on-going commitment to provide our children with the best possible start in life.


“Our support for the Healthy Movers initiative very much reflects that commitment and we are delighted to be working with the Youth Sport Trust, the PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport CIC.”


Hartlepool Sport CIC and the PFC Trust Chief Operating Officer Carl Jorgeson said: "If we get the first years of a child's life right, then we prevent a lot of other challenges from coming along later. 

"Our early years providers are perfectly placed to help support young people as they take their first steps into movement and physical activity. Children and families can create positive habits that will stick for life.

"We are really pleased to support the Healthy Movers project as it aims to put physical literacy at the heart of early years." 


 The Healthy Movers project in Hartlepool will run for two years and there are currently 20 early years education settings engaged in the training. The launch was very much the first step, with multiple touch points and training sessions planned throughout the two years.


About the Youth Sport Trust

The Youth Sport Trust is a UK leading children’s charity for improving young people's wellbeing through sport and play. It empowers young people and equips educators to transform lives through sport and play. Founded in 1995, it works with around 20,000 schools and inspires change-makers to build a sense of belonging. Its vision is to create a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits of play and sport.

Visit the Youth Sport Trust website for ideas, tips and information:

Twitter: @YouthSportTrust        

Facebook: YouthSportTrust        

Instagram: @youthsporttrust   

YouTube: @YouthSportTrust  LinkedIn: Youth Sport Trust        

TikTok: youthsporttrust  

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