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England Athletics looks to reach every primary school child with new Funetics programme

By Tom Walker    21 Nov 2019
Funetics helps 4-11 year old children across the country to learn, develop and practice running, jumping and throwing skills / England Athletics
For parents to be able to track their child's progress digitally is amazing
– Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Credit: England Athletics

England Athletics is looking to expand its Funetics programme across schools and the physical activity sector by actively looking for new partners to deliver the scheme.

Funetics has been created by England Athletics to help 4-11 year old children across the country to learn, develop and practice running, jumping and throwing skills all year round, for a healthy confident future.

Launched in September this year (2019), the programme helps children get active by providing a safe, fun and nurturing environment. It is designed to allow children to develop fundamental movement skills and confidence to help support them in different sports in the future.

England Athletics’ vision is for every primary school aged child in the country to be able to access funetics sessions and to learn the fundamental movement skills via a trackable physical literacy-based course, reflecting the requirements of the National Curriculum Key Stage 1 and 2.

The guiding principles for the programme are:

Safe – all activities will be delivered with safety as a first priority

Encouraging – children will always be encouraged for their effort

Rewarding – children who demonstrate both physical skills and softer skills, such as team work, punctuality and determination, will be recognised and rewarded

Developmental – children will learn at their own pace through age-appropriate sessions

Child-centred – we always put the child at the heart of our programme development and delivery

Coaches, teachers and parents will be able to access and digitally track the progress of each child taking part in Funetics. This is then used to encourage the children to undertake higher activity levels for a healthy future.

Heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who sensationally became World Champion in Doha, Qatar last month (October 2019), has been named Funetics ambassador.

"Funetics is a fantastic opportunity for more young children to access running, jumping and throwing at an early age and in a way that is fun, safe and nurturing and accessible all year round," Johnson-Thompson said.

"For parents to be able to track their child's progress digitally is amazing.

"At the heart of it, Funetics is all about getting children active, which is so important."

England Athletics is now recruiting more local providers to deliver the programme within locations across England.

Dan Parkinson, funetics Programme Lead at England Athletics, said: "We're looking to get as many of our member clubs involved in Funetics – but are also looking to get charitable organisations, leisure centre operators, school sports partnerships and others involved too.

"You don't necessarily need a track, but simply a safe indoor or outdoor space which can host activities for 20 children or more."

For more information, click here for www.funetics.co.uk.

England Athletics  Funetics  Katarina Johnson-Thompson 
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