Wigan children benefit from free holiday club

A specialist provider of sports education for primary schools delivered Easter clubs for free school meal and SEN children in Wigan through a government-funded programme.

By Holly Pritchard
Friday, 13th May 2022, 9:48 am

SportsCool, which offers a diverse range of activities, organised the free holiday clubs in 15 towns and cities across England, including Wigan, through the Department for Education scheme for Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) .

The scheme has been set up to provide nutritious meals and rewarding activities during the school break and is helping many families, including some who might otherwise struggle with the extra cost of food and childcare.

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National director Lee Lysons

It currently has 28 operations across the UK, working closely with more than 400 education providers and all its activities are underpinned by the ethos: “educate, motivate, participate”.

SportsCool worked in partnership with local authorities to deliver the Easter holiday clubs, which were attended by a total of 7,930 children, nationwide.

National director Lee Lysons said: “The events have been extremely well received by the youngsters and their parents and guardians, with 7,390 children attending our Easter holiday sessions, which were organised by 15 of our operations across England."

Louise Crabtree, director of SportsCool in Bolton, said: “Research has shown that the school holidays can be pressure points for some families.

“The HAF programme is a response to this issue, with evidence showing that free holiday clubs can have a positive impact on children and young people, helping tackle problems such as social isolation.

“At SportsCool we firmly believe that sports education is fundamental to every child’s development and that is central to the HAF programme activities we deliver.

“We also believe that every child should have the chance to participate, progress and achieve in physical activities, as this has a profound effect on self-esteem and all-round mental and physical health.

“We’ve worked closely with the local council to set up HAF holiday clubs that provide young people with a wide range of fun activities.

“As a result, we see the youngsters blossom into confident, healthy and aspiring individuals.”

In October 2021 the government announced a further investment of over £200m a year, over the next three financial years for the programme, following its successful roll out across England.