31 Jul

Levels of severe obesity in children aged 10 to 11 years have reached the highest point since records began, according to new figures published by Public Health England (PHE).  Analysis of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) between 2006 to 2007 and 2016 to 2017 details trends in severe obesity for the first time. The findings also show stark health inequalities continue to widen. The prevalence of excess weight, obesity, overweight and severe obesity are higher in the most deprived areas compared to the least deprived – this is happening at a faster rate in Year 6 than Reception.

30 Jul

The Horsham Memory Walk, organised by the Rusty Brains, is back again for 2018! It's on Friday 21st September in Horsham Park , 12:00 - 14:00. Come down and support the Horsham Rusty Brains and people living with Dementia across the district. For more information call the Alzheimer's Society on: 01403 213017. Click here to make a donation

Community Youth Work at Horsham Mattters are recruiting to two positions for Pulborough and Steyning youth clubs. Pulborough Support Youth Worker - 5 hours per week, term time only including Wednesday and Thursdays. £9.40 / hour. Steyning Support Youth Worker - 8 hours per week, term time only including Tuesday and Thursdays. £9.00 / hour. Closing date for both positions: 26 August 2018.

19 Jul

Littlehaven School are the Year 1+2 quadkids champions after pipping Castlewood in a close run competition, run on a virtual basis by comparing scores produced on both the schools' sites. Littlehaven's 71 children accumulated 7253 points against Castlewood's 60 children who scored 6031 which uplifted pro-rata (x 71/60) gave an adjusted total of 7137. 116 points difference is not a lot in the context of over 14,000 points scored overall! For good measure 25 of Castlewood's reception year children got tested as well - next year when their scores contribute to the competition they'll be seasoned veterans at it!

18 Jul

The third Fairways to Horsham Grand Final was a great success recently at Horsham Golf and Fitness. Year 3+4  winners were Leechpool (Jack Green and Caitlyn Leyshon - score 52) and Year 5+6 Winners were St Andrew's Nuthurst (Texas Anema and Nathaniel Bashford - score 45). There were seven teams in the lower age group final and seven teams in the older age group.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has launched a campaign to place a child’s fundamental right to be active on the same footing as rights to education, shelter and nutrition. With 80% of girls and 77% of boys failing to meet the national recommended level of activity, concerns have been about the health and wellbeing of our children and young people. The Alliance has launched a campaign around the fundamental right of all children to be active. The #RightToBeActive campaign asks those across society, including parents, to join the call for government to embed the fundamental right of all children to be active in policy, regulations and legislation.

University students who take part in regular physical activity say they perform better, are more employable and enjoy better mental wellbeing, according to the biggest study of its kind. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest 95 students took their own lives in England and Wales in the 12 months to July last year, leading the Government to introduce an awards system to recognise universities achieving excellence in mental health care. Now, a joint report from ukactive, British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS), Precor and Scottish Student Sport (SSS) has found that promoting physical activity, including sports participation and gym membership, improves student’s personal wellbeing, mental wellbeing, social inclusion, and perceived academic attainment and employability.

A new study has found that five and six-year-olds’ screen-time is linked with low fruit and vegetable consumption and high intake of unhealthy snacks such as crisps, chocolate and biscuits. The research, led by Dr Emma Haycraft, of Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, also suggests that parents’ own tech and eating habits are influential to their youngsters’ behaviours. The study, titled Clustering and correlates of screen-time and eating behaviours among young children, was funded by the British Heart Foundation and conducted by Dr Natalie Pearson. The aim of the study was to understand how the two concepts are linked in young children and examine some of the factors that are associated with these behaviours.

A show home designed around concepts and technologies which will allow people with dementia to live independently for longer has been officially opened. The house, at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford, features a vast collection of intuitive ideas, all based on proven academic research. All of the features in the home were designed around a range of unique personas, created especially for the project, which reflect four progressive stages of dementia, from early on-set to end-of-life. The innovations and ideas have been devised by experts at Loughborough University, BRE and HLP Architects. The house is open to the public, care-providers, local authorities, architects and anyone with an interest in dementia care to allow them to gather ideas, solutions and inspiration from the technology and design on show.

It’s a claim that might sound far-fetched to many England fans, but a senior doctor has claimed that watching football can be good for mental wellbeing. The NHS Director has said that for older people in particular there are clear benefits from watching classic football matches like England’s 1966 world cup final victory, including keeping the brain active and stimulating memories. The physical benefits of playing football and other sports are well-known, but the NHS’ leading dementia expert is encouraging older people, particularly anyone with dementia, to watch replays of sporting events as a way of improving mental health and wellbeing.

14 Jul

Hot on the heels of their large schools District Sports success last week Southwater followed up yesterday by taking both District Sports Quadkids B team titles available in year 3+4 (morning) and year 5+6 (afternoon) age categories. Northolmes were second in both events but can take some comfort from the fact that they had the strongest year 4 showing. Southwater had the strongest year 3 and 6 contingents and Castlewood gained the most year 5 related points. The North-South divide in the year 3+4 event was marginal with only 48 points between the top two but in the older age group it was wider gap of 183 points. Aside from the results it was great to see the children competing so well and competitively in the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre stadium on another hot day. HDSD's last inter-school event of the season had certainly been worth waiting for.

British Cycling is running a HSBC UK Go-Ride Holiday Coaching Camp at The Weald Primary School at Beare Green, Dorking for beginners and club / racing cyclists. Keith Reed, British Cycling’s ‘Go-Ride’ Coach, covering the South East, will be leading the camp. The ‘Go-Ride’ scheme, aims to get young people aged 6-16 years involved in cycling, with the view of creating the next generation of Olympic and world champions.

On Wednesday 27 June, over one thousand pupils from 84 schools participated in the Level 3 School Games county finals at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley. Teams took part in 11 different competitions including athletics, golf, netball, hockey, stoolball, football, hockey, gymnastics, cricket, table tennis and climbing. Congratulations to all Sussex schools who took part in the School Games this year and to those schools who reached the Level 3 finals!

Driving instructors will be offered bespoke training to ensure cyclists’ safety is at the forefront of their minds when they teach new drivers, in a pilot. Alongside this training the government is also launching a new UK-wide initiative to help the police crackdown on the dangerous practice of ‘close passing’, which leads to accidents and puts people off cycling. This will include providing training materials and support for police forces so more drivers are made aware of the need to leave safe distances when overtaking cyclists.

StreetGames is making a call to the sporting world, to businesses and policy-makers to join in its mission to safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of young people. It pledges to train 5,000 sports coaches and community leaders in mental health awareness so that they are as confident responding to anxiety as they are to a sprained ankle. Increasing amounts of evidence link participation in sport with improvements in mental health and wellbeing. The UK Government’s attention is drawn to the potential that sport, at grassroots level, may be harvested for a range of health, social and economic benefits.

Local health and fitness club Bluecoat Sports, based in Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, have launched a new range of fitness equipment offering members even more choice when it comes to exercise. The new equipment features two SkiErg machines, two Assault Air Bikes, and a brand new lift zone downstairs in their two-storey gym.

Southwater B won the Horsham District Inclusive Cricket Tournament (for players who don't play in a club or for their school first team) on Wednesday at Kingslea School after pipping their own A team. Key game within the six team round-robin played over three pitches was the Southwater A v Southwater B clash which the latter won convincingly 147-88. Well done to all teams with boys and girls that competed with gusto and in a lovely spirit.

Teams of six riders from Holbrook and Kingslea primary schools met to contest the Horsham District Cycling Skills and Racing Festival at Kingslea School last week and it was Holbrook who emerged winners by winning seven of the disciplines against Kingslea's two victories. Six of the disciplines revolved around skills - a timed slalom, limbo clearance, a 'Minefield' obstacle course, going through a slow box in as much time as possible, negotiating a spiral configuation as quickly as possible and freewheeling down a straight for as far as possible without pedalling after a speed build up.

A Voluntary Sector Support Funding Fair is to run at the Drill Hall on Wednesday 1st August, 10am-3pm at the Drill Hall in Horsham. The event is being staged by Horsham District Council's Community Development team. For clubs and other local bodies with a sporting interest this represents a good opportunity to find out about and potentially engage bespoke support for obtaining grant funding in support of achieving their development objectives. Specific presentations will be given by the Big Lottery Fund, Sussex Community Foundation and Tesco Bags of Help Scheme. Attenders can even book in with funders for 1-2-1 chats about their needs and ideas.

9 Jul

Children say PE is teaching them about far more than just sporting skills, with a survey of more than 6,500 pupils saying they believe what they learn in PE will improve their employment prospects. Following the success of the Youth Sport Trust's National School Sport Week, the children's charity has released new data with Votes for Schools and Greenhouse Sports looking at what PE means to young people. Hundreds of schools held class discussions about what the subject teaches them and if they think it will help them to get a job one day. In an online survey of 6,540 pupils, carried out by Votes for Schools, 84% of primary school pupils said they thought what they learnt in PE would help them to get a job one day. 66% of secondary school students said they agreed.

As new data is released today from the National Child Measurement Programme, the Youth Sport Trust has said more support should be given to teachers to help children have positive experiences of PE and school sport. To read the Youth Sport Trust's 'Believing in every child's future' four year stategy visit strategy.youthsporttrust.org The Youth Sport Trust has also set out five goals to improve children’s formative experiences of PE and school sport for a generation.

A group of the UK’s leading walking and cycling organisations, including the Bicycle Association, Cycling UK, the Ramblers, British Cycling, Living Streets and Sustrans, has launched ‘Moving the Nation’, a manifesto asking for new measures to prioritise walking and cycling in our towns and cities. The Moving the Nation manifesto outlines the five first steps it would like to see the Government take on board to begin the transformation of our roads and streets.

The new Change4Life Train Like a Jedi programme uses the excitement of Star WarsTM and its characters – alongside double Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones – to encourage children to Train Like a Jedi and is designed to increase levels of physical activity amongst children in England. A new survey from PHE and Disney found that over 4 in 5 children (82%) would be inspired to move more if they saw their favourite characters being active. With Star Wars characters ranking as key favourites amongst UK children aged 7 to 11, the programme aims to make physical activity fun and inspire children to move more.

Tennis star Andy Murray has announced a partnership with the NHS, which will see him working across the UK to promote the benefits of physical activity. The first example of this collaboration is his support of the children’s physical activity programme, the Daily Mile. As part of NHS70 celebrations Murray is using his public profile to support projects that have the aim of encouraging more people to start a regular habit that leads to a more active lifestyle. A key part of the NHS70 is encouraging people to take care of their own health and increasing levels of physical activity will go a long way towards this.

Over half of the nation don’t enjoy a positive experience of sport and physical activity at school, according to a survey by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. Four in ten adults (40%) state that their experiences at school have directly influenced the amount of physical activity they currently do. There is also a notable gap between genders as women were twice as likely to have negative experiences when compared to men.

8 Jul

Southwater Junior Academy won the afternoon Year 5+6 District Sports at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre on Friday with a powerful team performance which saw them accumulate 385 points, a whole 115 points clear of nearest rival Greenway. The year 3+4 glory was shared between Heron Way and Southwater in an incredible tied total but there was certainly no need for a recount after lunch as the Southies went into overdrive in an event organised on a more traditional basis for athletics events.

7 Jul

31 children enjoyed a junior table tennis fun tournament at Greenway yesterday run by Horsham Table Tennis Club with support from Horsham District Sports Development. The competition was aimed at engaging new players in the local area, attracting players from places like Horsham, Billingshurst and Southwater, however one child from Brighton was a most welcome guest. In high heat all the children performed brilliantly both in terms of their skills and behaviour; indeed what better way for many to warm-up for the afternoon England v Sweden football match on TV!

6 Jul

New ground was broken in Horsham Area District Sports Quadkids history on Friday as the first ever first place tie was announced in the morning year 3+4 large schools event between Southwater and Heron Way schools, both getting 2892 points. You don't get many 2892-all draws in sport perhaps this was the first one in world history! Ten schools took part at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre in sweltering heat with all children doing a run, a sprint, a standing long jump and a howler throw meaning that for the 200 children that took part in the morning 800 bits of results data had to be fed into the spreadsheet. For the first time ever 100% data capture was achieved to thankfully ensure the computer was not allowed to say 'no' on this occasion.

1 Jul

The latest set4success sports event has been announced. The S4S inter-business cricket competition will run on Friday 10th August at Roffey CC. If you're going to stage your first S4S cricket competition anywhere why not do it at the home of one of the top club teams in Sussex. The event will run on an 8-a-side basis. Cost of entry per team is £50 with first 8 teams to register getting the places. Only one team per business at this stage but may be scope for more nearer the time. Roffey CC will provide one guest player per team so businesses only need to fill 7 spaces. The competition will start at 6.30pm. Winners will be a trophy and some wine. To enter contact jleross@btconnect.com

Parkrun UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners are set to launch a groundbreaking initiative that could see thousands of patients being ‘prescribed’ outdoor physical activity rather than medication. The initiative aims to improve the health and wellbeing of health care staff, patients and carers, reducing the need for lifelong medication. In 2017, the 1.11 billion prescriptions dispensed in communities across the UK cost £9.17bn.

The Charter for Parks, launched by the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces, and a coalition of national organisations, has called on on Prime Minister Theresa May and First Ministers Nicola Sturgeon, Carwyn Jones and Arlene Foster, to celebrate these spaces and take action to safeguard them.

UK charity Women in Sport, has released ‘Beyond 30% – Workplace Culture in Sport’, which delves under the surface of the sport workplace and reveals a gender discrimination problem in the sector. The report presents new findings and conclusions about workplace culture in sports organisations in the UK, such as National Governing Bodies, leisure organisations, County Sport Partnerships, commercial sports clubs and agencies and sports charities. The report does not include athletes, volunteers or coaches.

New measures to halve the number of obese children by 2030 have been announced by Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Building on the first chapter of the childhood obesity plan, the new measures include proposals to counter ‘pester power’ by preventing stores from displaying unhealthy food at checkouts or including it in buy-one-get-one-free deals.

The latest Horsham and Shipley Community Project newsletter is out. It's great to hear that the project has gained charitable status and there's much more information contained in it including news about the on site Green Project there, the petanque section, vets football, walking football, Men in Sheds and progress of the grounds maintenance work going on at the project's home.

A smashing day of District Sports Small Schools Athletics was enjoyed on Friday at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre. Loxwood took the year 3+4 morning event just 13 points ahead of Wisborough Green which is not much when both teams amassed over 5000 between them! In the year 5+6 afternoon event it was St Andrew's Nuthurst who hit the heights with Wisborough Green again achieving the runners-up spot but this time coming 106 points behind. Well done to all 320 children involved on the day from eight participating schools. The weather was hot and balmy but the children applied themselves and achieved with distinction nonetheless and behaviour levels were exemplary which was just as well with hundreds of parents watching on.

Greenway Academy won this year's primary schools archery virtual competition after 32 of its lower school children contributed scores across four group sessions led by HDSD coach Ian Ford. Each child shot three practice arrows before recording six scoring arrows - white ring scoring 2, black 4, blue 6, red 8 and gold 10. All the Greenway children did well and average score per arrow worked out to be 2.73. No other schools entered the event this year but this takes nothing away from the fine effort and achievement that the Greens put in. You've got to be in it to win it and Greenway certainly was!

This year's inclusive cricket festival is running on Wednesday 11th July at Kingslea,School, 9.30-12noon and lots of fun is in store for youngsters who don't normally represent their school in this particular sport. Five schools with six teams will contest a round-robin format in half hour games that will involve each team batting an innings of eight five-ball overs. Lots of cricketing fun in prospect!