The Asian Sports Foundation is celebrating after being awarded £100,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help low income families in Bradford get active with their children.

Four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day, and are missing out on the benefits it brings. Children from low income families are most likely to do very little physical activity.

The Asian Sports Foundation’s Bradford Families Activity is one of the first projects to receive investment from a £40 million National Lottery funding pot that Sport England has dedicated to helping families get active together.

The fund is a key part of Sport England’s focus on helping young people have an enjoyable experience of sport and physical activity so they develop a positive attitude towards being active at an early age and continue being active in later life.

Sport England are funding organisations that help families get active together, because parents and close family members can have a big impact on children’s experiences. As well as giving children direct access to sporting opportunities, Sport England research shows that they are also significant role models in helping their children get active – because how a parent behaves impacts what a child sees as important.

Parents who are active themselves, and enjoy it, can encourage positive feelings about exercise and its value in their children. Yet many parents lack the skills or confidence to take part in sport with their children as they fear they cannot keep up. For example, if adults don’t know how to swim or lack confidence on a bike, this has a knock-on impact on the activities they feel they can do as a family and how much they encourage children to take part.

Each of the funded projects will work to address this by building adults’ confidence around getting active with their children, and by providing experiences for families that are enjoyable, convenient and low cost.

The Asian Sports Foundation works with partner National Governing Bodies, clubs and community organisations at a strategic level to deliver tangible projects which break down cultural and religious barriers and provide sporting and physical activity benefits to underrepresented minority ethnic communities.

In the Bradford Families Activity project – the ASF will be  working with both the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the BEAP Community Partnership.

Sport England’s Director of Children and Young People Jayne Molyneux said:

“It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings. Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.

“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children. That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice. With this new National Lottery funding, the Asian Sports Foundation will be able to support 200 families from the Manningham and Holme Wood areas of Bradford to become more active.”

The Asian Sports Foundation’s Chief Executive Angus Martin said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding support from Sport England and the National Lottery. It will help us to make a big impact on the lives of the families we will support through this project and it is also vitally important for our own growth as a new charity. We have chosen these specific areas within Bradford as we want to bring both families and communities together to be more active, play more sport and learn how to lead healthier lives in general. By working in Manningham and Holme Wood and developing opportunities for the families involved to mix and get to know each other through the project we will also be adding a much-needed community cohesion approach to the work that we are doing.”

Professor Lord Patel of Bradford OBE, the Honorary President of Asian Sports Foundation added:

“The valuable funding from the National Lottery to increase exercise, not only for children and young people, but also their parents – encouraging and supporting people to be more physically active is absolutely crucial to addressing a wide range of public health concerns, including tackling obesity and diabetes and improving metal health and wellbeing.  As President of the Asian Sports Foundation I am proud that we have been appointed as one of the first projects to be funded and can use our experience, gathered over many years to make a difference to the lives of children and their parents – especially in my home city of Bradford.”

The Chief Medical Officer recommends that children and young people do at least 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. Currently, just 23% of boys and 20% of girls meet the national recommended level of activity. 47% of children from the households with the lowest incomes do low levels of activity. Health Survey for England 2016: Children’s health information

Sport England commissioned-research conducted by The Behavioural Architects 2017

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