Get your kids into sport

Caroline Cassidy

Child obesity has been making headlines in the UK for some years now, but this summer, Team GB's success has inspired youngsters as well as adults to get more involved with sport.

get your kids into sport
get your kids into sport

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There are classes, courses and clubs up and down the country aimed at encouraging children to take up sport, so if your little ones are itching to get active, here's how and where to get them started.

Sport England
The perfect place to start your search for nearby sports facilities and clubs, this government agency is specifically designed to encourage Brits of all ages to get into sport. There are more than 50,000 sporting facilities listed, featuring everything from ice skating to tennis courts, and the interactive map means you can quickly and easily find clubs and centres in your local area.

Let Me Play
For kids who are already showing promise in a particular sport, Let Me Play provides fabulous opportunities to fulfil their potential. It runs programmes in more than 100 schools in the London area and offers residential courses with professional coaching in a variety of sports, including athletics, basketball, football, tennis and even street dance. Physiotherapists and experts in nutrition, strength and conditioning, performance analysis and sports psychology are also on hand to give active kids the best possible chance to attain their sporting dreams.

Funded by the Department of Health, there are currently 3,000 Change4Life Sports Clubs already in secondary schools, and 4,500 in primary schools across the UK.

For the little ones these clubs offer a wide range of activities, including canoeing, cycling, rowing, gymnastics, swimming, archery, fencing and many more. Secondary clubs are more sport-specific and designed to give talented youngsters opportunities in their chosen sport.

Kings Camps
Run by the King's Foundation, these summer activity camps are Ofsted registered and designed to give youngsters a taste of a variety of sports. The emphasis is on fun rather than competition, and kids can expect an action-packed week of swimming, badminton, dodgeball, basketball and many more activities. Under-8s are catered for by Kids' Camp, while eight to ten-year-olds can join in the Junior Challenge.

Local clubs, classes and courses
Your local authority will be able to provide information on nearby leisure centres and sporting venues offering courses, clubs and classes for kids. You might be surprised at some of the unusual sports on offer nearby, and many sports centres will run both term-time coaching and daytime courses during the holidays. Check out your local council's website for more information.