Focus on solutions at education round table

Heads of leisure and education came together for Precor’s third annual round table event in January, where experts debated the challenges and recommendations for engaging young people in physical activity.

The event, hosted by leading fitness equipment supplier and manufacturer Precor, was chaired by Dave Stalker, CEO of ukactive. The live panel included Karen Rotary from BUCS, Ellen Rowles from Skills Active and Paul Dickinson from 3D Leisure, as well as attendees from a range of schools, colleges and universities including the University of Westminster, Charterhouse School, Astley Sports Village, The American School and Royal Holloway University.

Topics ranged from the Sports Activation Fund and attracting ‘zero activity’students, to Astley Sports Village’s highly successful MAD programme and the live-action game Humans vs Zombies, which is sweeping through universities around the world. The packed out room discussed how to demonstrate a long term Return on Investment (ROI) for physical activity’, to support the call for more funding and timetabled hours, ‘how to encourage other stakeholders, such as parents and teachers to recognise their role’and ‘how to ensure students leave Higher Education as active adults’.

Mark Storie, Director of Astley Sport Village was attending for the second year running. He said: “The event was excellent. Both years have been very informative but this year it became clear to me that, through their sports departments and especially their school senior leadership teams, higher education establishments are engaging a lot more students in physical activity than at secondary school level.

“Secondary schools appear more focused on their academic results, which I agree is a key priority, but more work must also be focussed on student engagement in physical activity if we are to create a physical activity pathway for students from GCSE level through to Higher Education. This was a key discussion point at the roundtable and I have come back with some great ideas to use at Astley Sports Village.”

Ashley Sports Village’s MAD programme provided discussion about moving away from statistical success and focussing on positive changes to the individual through physical activity, such as improvements in school engagement, concentration and behaviour as well as self-confidence and body image.

Jonathan Griffiths, UK Marketing Manager at Precor said: “We all share a common goal of getting young people more active, more often, and there is some great work already being done by the education sector. These round table events enable us to hear first-hand the challenges our schools, colleges and universities are facing, and are a fantastic platform for sharing knowledge, best practice and further ideas for change.”

David Stalker, CEO of ukactive agreed, he said: “A superb event delivered by Precor on an important topic, as engaging young people in physical activity is crucial. What was clear from the event is that we need to ensure the right opportunities are available for all children and students. Alongside that we need to see more research into the impact physical activity has on academic performance and behaviours in the classroom. Great work is being done, but there’s more we can do. ukactive is focused on improving the provision and quality of physical activity for children and we will continue to work closely with our partners, including Precor, to deliver this.”


For further information and images, please contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019
Editor’s notes:
Precor designs and builds premium fitness equipment for effective workouts that feel smooth and natural. With a passionate focus on ergonomic motion, proven science and superior engineering, the company continually advances the home and commercial fitness industry with breakthrough new product categories, including, EFX®Elliptical, Adaptive Motion Trainer®“AMT®”and Preva®Networked Fitness. Precor is a subsidiary of Amer Sports Corporation, the world’s largest sports equipment company, with internationally recognized brands Wilson, Atomic, Suunto, Salomon, Arc’Teryx and Mavic.

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