Barking and Dagenham council pilots scheme to get year eight pupils active

The council is trying out a new strategy to tackle child obesity by offering all pupils in year eight free use of leisure facilities in Barking and Dagenham.

The pilot scheme launches on October 28 - the beginning of October half-term - and will run until March 31.

All children aged 12 and 13 living in the borough will get to use leisure activities such as swimming, Junior Gym sessions and others delivered by the community sports team.

They can also have free access to both the borough’s leisure centres at Abbey Sports Centre in Barking and Becontree Heath Leisre Centre in Dagenham.

As well as reducing the number of young people who are overweight, it is hoped it will encourage them to take up regular physical exercise.

The council said it had targeted year eight pupils to harness their interests before age 13 or 14 when there is a common drop-off for young people doing physical activity.

Council leader Liam Smith commented: “This project is a great example of the work the council is delivering, not only to increase active participation in sport but also help address wider health issues.”