Jon Rolnik, Tennis Coach from Game Set and Match Tennis Academy advises on the importance on investing in your child’s future health and wellbeing… Now.
One fifth of children are overweight or obese when they begin school, and this figure increases to one third by the time they leave primary school. The most deprived children are twice as likely to be obese both at Reception and at Year 6 than the least deprived children. Obesity is not only a serious and growing problem for individual children and the wider population, it is also a significant contributor to health inequality. Treating obesity and its consequences is currently estimated to cost the NHS £5.1bn every year. It is one of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes, which accounts for spending of £8.8 billion a year, almost 9% of the NHS budget. The wider costs of obesity to society are estimated to be around three times this amount.
By contrast, the UK spends only around £638 million on obesity prevention programmes. Few effective interventions are in place to help those children identified as overweight or obese, making it all the more important to focus on prevention. The recommendations for slowing and stopping this trend have a strong focus on changing the food environment, Evidence currently shows that information campaigns aimed at promoting healthier choices generally tend to help those who are already engaged with health, and may therefore only serve to widen health inequalities. Similarly, although physical activity has enormous benefits, regardless of weight, encouraging people to increase their physical activity levels alone is unlikely to have an impact on the obesity crisis. We should not lose sight of the clear evidence that measures to improve the food environment to reduce calorie intake must lie at the heart of a successful strategy.
Extracted from House of Commons Health Committee. Childhood obesity— brave and bold action. First published on 30 November 2015 by authority of the House of Commons.
The role of physical activity
Physical activity has a huge range of health benefits for people of all ages, whether they are a normal weight, overweight, or obese. Children fare even worse than adults in meeting physical activity guidelines, and this situation seems to be worsening. Children’s physical activity levels need to be improved, and the governments report on The Impact of Diet and Physical Activity on Health made a series of recommendations to improve physical activity levels for both adults and children.
Game Set and Match Tennis Academy reiterates and endorses that exercise has enormous benefits for children’s health and wellbeing irrespective of their weight. We must all increase provision for physical activity especially in childhood and consider this an important part of a strategy to tackle obesity. The Government have their own part to play, they must not lose sight of the clear evidence that measures to improve the food environment to reduce calorie intake including the amount of sugar in food must lie at the heart of a successful strategy, as these measures combined are likely to have a greater overall impact on childhood obesity levels. One of the ways Game Set and Match Tennis Academy is tackling our children’s health is the focus on what we call “Active Prevention”, this has simply become Dinky Tennis.
WHAT IS DINKY TENNIS?
Dinky Tennis is aimed at pre-school children from 2.5-4years and provides the first steps in helping pre-school children with sport & physical exercise through tennis.
The children’s experiences involve playing, exploring, active learning, creating, thinking & having fun. GSMTA/Dinky Tennis focuses on Communication and Language skills, Numerics, Physical Development, Personal Social & Emotional Development, as part of the national EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage).
Our unique coaching programme in over 15 Pre-Schools in Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset, is adaptable for any current pre-school activities and aims to better prepare all children for Primary School physical activity Key Stage 1.
We would like to offer your pre-school or nursery a FREE taster or demonstration of what GSMTAs Dinky Tennis can bring to your childcare setting.
A selection of Dinky Tennis participants from our list of specialist venues. ♦Sherborne Prep School Sherborne. ♦Leaping Frogs Pre-School Mere. ♦Toybox Pre-School Castle Cary. ♦Jabberwocky Pre-School Street. ♦Rainbow Pre-School Street. ♦Fairfield Montessori Glastonbury. ♦Brue Farm Pre-School nr Bruton. ♦West Hill Nursery Wincanton. ♦Sticky Fingers Templecombe. ♦Dinton Pre-School Salisbury. ♦Owl Babies Leigh-On-Mendip. ♦Plus coaching programmes at the new Tisbury Sports Centre the Nadder Centre.