Self-esteem, happiness and better concentration - the benefits of sport for schoolchildren

PUBLISHED: 11:00 29 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 29 January 2018

Children from Beccles Primary Academy enjoying Sport Relief activities in 2016. Picture: James Bass

Children from Beccles Primary Academy enjoying Sport Relief activities in 2016. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

Inspiring children to find a love of sport at primary school can improve their focus, self-esteem and happiness, a school says.

Rollesby Primary School winning Active School of the Year at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2017. Picture: Sonya DuncanRollesby Primary School winning Active School of the Year at the Norfolk Sports Awards 2017. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Next Monday, we will launch a campaign with Sports for Schools, which will see schools and communities encouraged to collect tokens to win a share of a £20,000 sports equipment fund.

Tokens will be included in the EDP and Norwich Evening News every day until April 14, with parents, school staff and the community invited to collect and donate them to their local school.

At Rollesby Primary School, PE coordinator Diane Howlett said they offered a “holistic” approach, something which earned them a Norfolk Sports Award last year.

“We don’t see it as just PE lessons,” she said. “We promote the benefits of healthy eating and why it’s important to stay fit, as well as the values and morals of sport.”

MORE: Campaign giving schools the chance of winning share of £20,000 sports equipment fund nears

She said they tried to include as much variety as possible - including ice skating, archery and fencing.

“We want to show them that there is a sport out there for everyone,” she said. “It can enhance confidence and self-esteem and being part of a team can make them feel valued.

“If they’ve done something well the praise from that can be really important to them.”

And after introducing the daily mile initiative, a national scheme which sees children run or walk for 15 minutes a day, she said teachers noted that pupils also seemed more focused in lessons.

In our Sports for Schools drive, the top three schools with the most tokens - calculated on a pro rata basis based on pupil numbers - will receive prizes of £5,000, £3,000 or £2,000. Schools that collect 1,000 tokens will receive a free sports pack.

Mrs Howlett said: “We just want to show children there is an activity they enjoy, that they can have fun doing and that is good for them.

“There are benefits from a young age of staying active, and we want to promote that to our children. We’re very passionate about it.”

• Schools interested in signing up to the Sports for Schools campaign must register their interest by emailing

• They should include the school’s name, address, postcode, contact name, telephone number and the number of pupils at the school.

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