A new campaign by Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke is encouraging kids to have fun and get active over the summer holidays.
As part of the campaign called ‘Ready Set Summer’, which is sponsored by MACE, special packs are being made available to teachers, parents and childminders packed full of fun stuff for 7 -11 year olds to do over the school summer holidays. Each pack contains a wall chart listing fun activities, stickers to mark off adventures as and when they are done, and even stickers for kids to wear.
Included in the pack is a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities, as well as things to do with friends, family or just by themselves. There’s even a competition especially for kids who participate with a host of different prizes available from National Trust and MACE.
As part of the campaign the charity has linked up with Park Life education programme to organise two activity days on Friday 11 August at Botanic Gardens and Tuesday 15 August at Falls Park including crafts, wildlife Olympics, a scavenger hunt and ultimate Frisbee which are open to all Ready Set Summer pack holders.
Ulster and Irish International rugby player Chris Henry, Ambassador for Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke said: “The summer holidays represent a massive opportunity for young people to take part in brand new activities, learn some new skills and most of all have fun. I have wonderful memories of school holidays, when every day brought a new adventure and at home time feeling tired yet elated. Northern Ireland’s Ready Set Summer Pack provides some great inspiration for fun things to do both outdoors and indoors to allow kids to make the most of summer holidays and best of all its free!”
Fidelma Carter, Public Health Director from Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke, said: “Behind the fun, there is a serious message. Over three-quarters of children in Northern Ireland don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and one in four children here are classified as overweight or obese. Both of these put our children at increased risk of heart disease and stroke when they grow up. We believe prevention is better than a cure and if we teach our children to make healthy choices now, they may avoid developing illnesses when they are adults. Habits started at an early age can last a lifetime so we hope Ready Set Summer will show children that exercise can be fun and something they fit into their everyday lives.”
To request a Ready Set Summer pack go to www.nichs.org.uk/readysetsummer.