Ignite Sport > News and Blogs > Lockdown easing helps children with a mental health boost

Children across Oxfordshire have experienced a significant boost to their mental and physical health this week as schools re-opened, according to our coaches.

Step One of the Government’s roadmap to exit COVID-19 restrictions took effect this week as students returned to classrooms for the first time since January.

It meant our coaches were able to return to delivering their pre-Christmas physical education lessons and school club programmes for the first time this year. We have ensured all coaches have been trained in pandemic awareness, social distancing practices and anxiety in children.

As part of Step One on the country’s roadmap, we delivered COVID-19 secure physical education lessons that are developed in line with the national curriculum in schools across Oxfordshire.

Our General Manager Hannah Bladen said it was vital for young people to feel a sense of engagement with physical activity after spending much time at home in lockdown.

“This week has underlined the importance of quality physical education, and we have been fortunate to witness the impact this has on the wellbeing of pupils first-hand. It has been clear pupils have experienced both a physical and mental health boost by returning to school,” said Hannah.

“Since the country’s roadmap to exit the pandemic was revealed, our team has carefully structured a safe programme to support the physical education and wellbeing of schoolchildren across Oxfordshire.

“We continue to provide schools with an inspiring, challenging and creative solution to physical education lessons and school club programmes to help all pupils reach their full potential through the power of sport.

“It’s fantastic to be back in schools, but safety is always our priority. Therefore, we are currently delivering a limited programme in line with the latest Government advice.”

Although events marked a slight return to normality, this week was tinged with sadness following the passing of Mickey Lewis who passed away last Friday.

Mickey joined our team in 2017 and played an essential role in delivering youth and community education programmes following a successful playing career.

His passing was marked by a minute’s applause on Monday by staff and students studying one of Velocity Football’s programmes.

Hannah added: “Our thoughts remain with Mickey’s wife Suzanne and son Zach plus his family and those who knew him.

“It would have been Mickey’s wish for us to continue our delivery of programmes this week and I am proud of everyone for their outstanding efforts this week.

“Mickey was a fantastic coach, and his legacy will live long with Ignite Sport UK.”

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