For those living in some of the UK’s most deprived areas, it’s been an especially tough year since the Covid-19 pandemic began. At SportInspired, we’ve observed children in affected areas being confined to cramped living conditions, families struggling to access adequate nutrition and space to exercise. 

This reflects Sport England’s findings that over 90% of children are doing less than an hour of exercise on weekdays, much lower than in normal circumstances.

In an attempt to combat the negative mental and physical health effects of the pandemic, SportInspired teamed up with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) to put on an all-new, virtual programme - The Lloyds-SportInspired Spirit Games.

The Spirit Games saw 26 children at Sebright Primary School in London receive 4 free virtual sports classes:

  • Karate with Indy at Kaizen Ryu
  • Cheerleading, Basketball and Dance with First Kicks

To make the games Coronavirus safe, children remained in bubbles and interacted with coaches and volunteers from LBG via live video stream. The Lloyds volunteers joined in the classic SportInspired fun, which included learning Team Spirit Dances to replace chants and forward rolls in their living rooms to earn Spirit Cup points.

“Now more than ever, these kind of events, sports and enrichment activities, are really important,” said James Green, Head of School at Sebright.With 83% of Young People are reporting a reduced sense of wellbeing, being able to deliver these Games has never been more important.

“The running is really smooth, and the kids get to learn lots of valuable sporting skills, getting a taste of lots of different sports in a really safe way.”

As well as boosting their physical and mental wellbeing, the Lloyds-SportInspired Spirit Games helped children re-establish relationships with classmates, build self-belief and resilience, and learn core skills like communication and teamwork.

Mohammed, a Sebright pupil who participated this week, said: “Before the festival I was nervous because I normally get beaten by the other kids. But now I feel happy I did it, and tried everything with my friends!”

The first virtual Games was such a success, we are expecting to replicate The Lloyds-SportInspired Spirit at Seabright again after Half Term.

We look forward to supporting and inspiring more children with our virtual programmes this year. It’s a tough time, but we’ll get through it together.