Parents seek active holidays for their kids

Youngsters at the Allander sports centre, Bearsden. Picture by Emma Mitchell.
Youngsters at the Allander sports centre, Bearsden. Picture by Emma Mitchell.

Only a generation ago, there was little choice for children during the lengthy school holidays but now with the rise in child obesity the range and scale of school holiday activities has mushroomed.

This summer will see over five million children participating in activity camps across the UK.

With the European Soccer Championships and Rio Olympics making this a summer of sport, parents are seizing the opportunity to harness the enthusiasm of our high-profile athletes and players to get their children active this summer.

Sports clubs across East Dunbartonshire and Stirling have reported a 15 per cent increase in children attending summer day camps so far this summer.

One parent from Stirling said; “Our daughter isn’t hugely into sport and was reluctant to attend, but loved her first experience and wants to attend next summer. She loved trying new sports and the coaches included her in everything.”

A typical day-camp provides school-aged children with the opportunity to try fun games, team-building activities, team sports, athletics, creative activities, challenges and competitions during the day at a local school, university or other sports facility.

And it’s not just children who have benefitted from the rise of inclusive summer camps. Since 2008 the cost of childcare has increased 48 per cent with the average place costing over £220 per week (Childcare Survey Plus 2016), compared with a full week at camp costing £177, for the same number of hours each day.

In 2012 an Ofcom report on media consumption in the UK estimated that on average, 3-4-year-olds spends three hours a day looking at a phone, tablet or TV. This rises to four hours for 5-7s, 4.5 hours for 8-11s, and a whopping 6.5 hours for teenagers and many parents are taking action so that their children don’t fall into this downward spiral.

Kings Camps is one of the leading providers of these activities. The group are part of UK children’s charity the Kings Foundation, whose mission is to get children active.

Richard Holmes, the charities CEO, said: “We love to give children the option to learn new sports which they wouldn’t usually get to do at school as well as participating in fun versions of traditional sports. “Over the last 25 years we’ve seen the transformative value of sport and activity affecting the lives of over 1 million children. It’s great to see that even with the growing level of passive entertainment options, children still enjoy that real, energising, all together experience that you get from a week of fun and healthy activities.”

For further information please contact Neil Ellis; neil.ellis@kingsfoundation.org / 0114 263 2150