Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Multi-Skills Festival inspires Oxfordshire pupils to lead a healthy and active lifestyle

Hundreds of Oxfordshire schoolchildren took a break from their classroom surroundings to attend a Multi-Skills Festival organised by Ignite Sport and Oxford City in the Community. 

Over 400 children from multiple schools visited the Velocity Stadium – home of Oxford City FC – to participate in a selection of fun and inclusive games and activities designed to promote leading a healthy and active lifestyle.  

The festival for pupils in reception, year one and year two was the first of its kind to be hosted by Ignite and Oxford City in the Community in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Activities included javelin, archery, basketball, football and golf. For many participants, the festival provided a first opportunity for them to engage with different sports while developing key life skills including communication, teamwork and problem solving.  

Hannah Bladen, General Manager at Ignite Sport, hopes the festival inspired children to consider trying a new sport and positively impact their lives and wellbeing.  

“It was great to see so many local schoolchildren engage with one another and develop their skills and confidence through the festival,” said Hannah. “The weather was on our side, and everyone enjoyed a fun and engaging day of grassroots level sport and activity.  

“Supporting the provision of school sport is one of our core objectives at Ignite Sport, and we work closely with pupils across the county to help them achieve their true potential through our sessions.  

“The physical and mental health benefits of sports participation are there for everyone to see, and it’s a topic that has fallen heavily under the radar because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Providing pupils with a first touchpoint to sport and participation will hopefully inspire them to fulfil a healthy and active upbringing which can positively impact their confidence and personal development in the future. We'd like to thanks Mini Professionals Dance Academy for delivering a fantastic dance and yoga session too."

The Multi-Skills Festival coincided with UK Coaching Week – an opportunity to shine a light on the positive work coaches from all disciplines has on those they work with.  

A Government report issued at the beginning of this year revealed only 44% of schoolchildren in England are meeting the recommended guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an hour or more each day.  

Hannah said events like Ignite Sport’s Multi-Skills Festival can help to reverse this figure.  

“Coaches play an essential role in helping people to fulfil the recommended levels of physical activity for their respective age group,” said Hannah. “They encourage people to be active and have the power to positively influence lives and communities by supporting our overall physical and mental wellbeing.  

“Events like our Multi-Skills Festival act as a platform to promote healthy habits in people from a young age, regardless of their ability or confidence levels. We hope our guests enjoyed the day and we hope to see them participating in sport across the county again very soon.”  

Founded in 1999, Ignite Sport aims to inspire people through its sport, activity and wellbeing programmes that help create a sense of achievement for participants of all ages, background and abilities.  

The company works with early year settings, schools, councils, charities, private coaching companies, gyms, the NHS and apprenticeship training agencies.   

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