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February half-term was one like no other for children of non-essential workers across the UK as they were told to stay at home and not socialise with their friends to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Unlike the summer lockdown, there was no fine weather and lighter evenings for youngsters to enjoy limited time outside with their family and friends as restrictions eased. And in the autumn lockdown, schools remained open meaning children were able to socialise with others.
For the Barker family from Bicester, lockdown during February half-term presented familiar challenges to parents Adam and Claire as they juggled full-time work while keeping their two children – Leo and Rosie – entertained.
The Langford Village School pupils were not eligible to attend Ignite Sport UK’s key worker camp, so instead signed up to the training provider’s virtual multi-sport camp that was delivered via Zoom.
Activities from football to yoga, dance and cookery kept the pair and dozens of other children entertained throughout half-term as classes were delivered twice daily.
Parent Adam Barker said the efficiency of Ignite Sport UK’s virtual multi-sport camp helped his family establish a healthy routine during his children’s half-term break.
He added: “Trying to keep Leo and Rosie active and engaged while maintaining their exercise levels during lockdown hasn’t been easy.
“Everything the Ignite Sport UK team provided during February half-term and through term time has been extremely helpful to myself and my partner. We’re a very active family
and if we’re not dashing to a football match on a Sunday morning or a dance class in the week, we’ll be out walking our dog.
“We wanted to ensure both our children were engaged doing as much as possible throughout half-term and we were able to achieve that via Ignite’s virtual multi-sport camp.”
Sports-mad Leo, aged 10, represents Oxford City FC for his respective age category while Rosie, 7, is a keen dancer and gymnast. Both youngsters also train in jujutsu, so staying active is an important part of their lives.
Both youngsters are also regulars at Ignite Sport UK’s multi-sport camps at their primary school and have desperately missed the social interaction element of their education routine.
“That’s been the hardest part of lockdown for them – not seeing their friends,” said Adam. “Therefore, any interaction with other like-minded children is going to give them something to look forward to.
“They’ve been dedicated to their schoolwork and are still part of their clubs outside of school, but of course that is all online. They were able to login to the virtual holiday camp themselves and enjoyed the variety of sessions which they completed together.
“Having Ignite Sport UK’s virtual camp as a resource was extremely useful to us and we hope by Easter they will be able to attend sessions physically in a COVID-19 secure environment.”
As part of Ignite Sport UK’s ambition to keep children and their families as active as possible during lockdown, a number of free-to-access physical education lessons have been uploaded onto the company’s website.
Sports from athletics, basketball, cricket and tennis plus other fun sports-based sessions have been produced and can be viewed here.
For further information about Ignite Sport UK, visit www.ignitesportuk.com/.