Engaging in sports activities not only benefits our health, but is also a good way to cultivate team spirit, perseverance and resilience – qualities that help us maintain a positive outlook on life. The World Health Organization suggests that children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily. However, studies by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) show that less than 15% of children in Hong Kong meet this recommendation.
In view of this discrepancy, the Club’s Charities Trust has approved funding of over HK$97 million and joined hands with CUHK to create a five-year pilot project, Fun to Move@JC.
With the aid of school and family collaborations as well as technology, the project is aimed at strengthening primary students’ motivation to participate in sport and instilling a habit of maintaining physical activity among young children, allowing them healthy all-round development. The pilot project serves 35 participating primary schools and is expected to reach over 30,000 primary school students and their parents.
Fun to Move@JC commenced as a pilot project in September 2017. Workshops, seminars and experience-sharing sessions were organised for the Physical Education (PE) teachers of participating schools, allowing them to design suitable curriculums and create classes that are active and fun for students, thereby establishing an energetic school culture.
As well as maintaining their routine PE classes, participating schools will now introduce fun and engaging physical activities at morning assemblies, recesses and the time between classes to encourage students to be more active.
In addition, parents will be invited to talks about sport and physical activities, as well as parenting practices. Family activities such as interest classes, sports classes and different award programmes will be arranged to encourage parents and children to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle together.
To encourage students to stay active outside school, wrist-worn sports bands will gradually be provided to each participating student and one of their parents, which will measure their physical activity level objectively at all times. Parents can monitor their children’s physical performance and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme using a mobile app.
The students will also undergo fitness tests to assess their fundamental movement skills through an automated assessment instrument specially designed for the programme, which supports continual improvement in students’ fundamental movement skills and quality of movement, as well as their physical and mental health.
In the longer-term, the project team hopes to analyse the data gathered from the sports bands in order to develop an effective, holistic and sustainable “Sport and Physical Activity Development Model” tailored for local primary schools, and eventually motivate more schools to establish a sport and physical activity friendly ecosystem.