In a bid to keep pupils active and promote well-being during Children’s Mental Health Week, a number of schools across South Wales have come up with a fitness challenge inspired by the Six Nations.
Pupils – and staff – at Bryntirion, Chepstow, Cwmtawe and Monmouth Comprehensive Schools and Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen (CCYD) are competing with each other to ‘virtually’ run / walk / cycle / row to as many Six Nations stadia as possible by Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations and the race is well and truly on!
Andy Farrell, Head of PE at Cwmtawe Community School and creator of ‘Race to the Stadiums’, said: “We wanted to create a way of engaging our Year 7 and Year 8 learners and staff during this extended lockdown and motivate them to take regular breaks from the increase in screen-time online learning invariably brings to keep fit and active within the current guidelines.
“With Children’s Mental Health Week this week in mind, the link between a young person’s physical and mental well-being has never been more important. Our students have a range of home learning environments, but through this initiative, our young people can connect with other students and schools in a common goal. We also feel we are supporting the boys competing in the Six Nations in some way while not being able to attend matches in person.”
CCYD hub officer Chris Dicomidis added, “Many of the pupils usually take part in sport, both for school teams and outside school, so they are missing that social and competitive element at the moment.
“We are getting everyone’s data from their fitness apps and it’s created a real buzz amongst pupils and staff too. It’s something pupils can do safely from their homes and families can get involved too. I know it’s motivating me to get out and put the miles in and I can see the difference getting out and active has on my own children sat at home all day. It’s vital for us all to stay active for our physical and mental health.”
Who knows, perhaps other schools around Wales or further afield will try to beat the final totals these schools clock up by the end of next week and maybe virtually travel all the way to Paris in time for Wales’ final Six Nations game on Super Saturday!