NHCP’s Children and Young People Transformation Programme is excited about our summer of sport, with championships such as the Euro 2020 and Wimbledon reaching their crescendos, and the Olympics commencing later this month in Tokyo.Young people getting involved in sport brings plenty of benefits to health

Sport and physical activity can make a substantial contribution to improving wellbeing and is a strong means for the prevention of diseases.

Evidence shows that children and young people who are more active have increased confidence, higher self-esteem, less anxiety and stress and better social skills – attributes that can help them deal with the challenges they face in daily life. Positive attitudes towards physical activity have also been associated with children being happier. The UK Chief Medical Officers recommend that children do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

Kerrie Pearson, Children’s Weight Management Specialist at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), said: “Our ambition is for all families to enjoy eating a healthy diet and being active. We see that this teaches children how to make healthy choices and help take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing from an early age.”

Healthy Lifestyle is one of the four pillars for change delivery that the Children and Young People Transformation Programme has agreed, alongside Complex Needs; Health Minds, Healthy Brains; and Accessibility. Collectively these pillars will provide the infrastructure for a population health strategy and delivery plan, to ensure high-quality care for children, young people and their families in the communities where they live. Pillars are the vehicle through which Northamptonshire will deliver against its commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan and the architecture through which services will be planned, developed, implemented and monitored in a co-ordinated and collaborative way to deliver the best possible outcomes for our children and young people.

Our ambition for the Healthy Lifestyle pillar is to work together to help families confidently choose to adopt healthy lifestyles. Children in our county have told us that they want to have easy access to exercise and other activity and healthy food. Some children have highlighted how important it is for their families to also participate in healthy lifestyles. As we progress the programme, in unison with Northamptonshire’s Integrated Care System journey, we will determine local strategy to meet the needs expressed by our children and young people across Northamptonshire.

Northampton Town FC Community Trust are one of our local third sector partners working closely with stakeholders to provide a range of healthy lifestyle events for children and young people this summer. Damon Fox, their schools and business development officer, said: ‘’We believe there are a range of benefits to children accessing sports that are not only physical but also increasing wellbeing, confidence, self-esteem and resilience outcomes.’’