On Wednesday 15 June Active Kent and Medway welcomed over 100 Primary Schools from across the county to its annual Primary PE Conference at the Kent Event Centre, Detling. Delegates included Primary PE Leads, Head teachers and Governors all with the agenda to get more children across Kent and Medway active whilst ensuring their PE, school sport and physical activity experiences are positive ones.
Delegates had a chance to hear from Youth Sport Trust, Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, Association for Physical Education and local School Games Organisers. Topics included the future of the School Games, healthy weight, PE Curriculum planning, Active 60 and Inclusion.
The conference welcomed pupils from Greenfields Community Primary School and West Malling Primary School to talk about what being active means to them and what primary schools can do to increase activity levels during the school day. Alongside keynotes and workshops, delegates had the opportunity to try range of activities designed specifically for primary schools. Activities included skateboarding, cycling, surfing, pickleball, handball and many more. Delegates left the conference armed with ideas and actions that they can start implementing in their schools.
The following day, the same venue was host to the annual Kent and Medway Everyday Active Conference. The event brought together partners from local authorities, leisure trusts, the health sector, charities and community organisations to discuss how to work together to tackle inequalities and increase sport and physical activity levels across the county.
The conference also presented an opportunity for Active Kent and Medway (formerly Kent Sport), to launch its new brand.
During the one-day event, delegates heard from Kate Dale, Strategic Lead for Campaigns at Sport England. Kate provided insight on the hugely successful national This Girl Can campaign, including future plans for the campaign to encourage women and girls to become more active and overcome the fear of judgement. Lucie Hooper from NHS England and NHS Improvement South East provided an overview of the health strategy at a local level, and how physical activity fits into the picture.
The conference also welcomed representatives from successful community projects across the county to take part in a Q&A session with conference host Rob Smith, former BBC South East presenter. The guests fielded questions from the delegates and explained the positive impact, as well as lessons learned, from the growing relationship between the physical activity, health and community sectors.
The opportunity for people working across the county, to meet, exchange ideas and create new connections for future collaboration was warmly received. Active Kent and Medway Director Liz Davidson commented:
“The Primary PE and Everyday Active Conferences provided the perfect opportunity for us to relaunch the Partnership as Active Kent and Medway and to reiterate our commitment to working with others across the county to address inactivity and tackle inequalities.
We were delighted to see so many colleagues from across the sport, physical activity, education, health, transport, community and charity sectors across the two days – with the take – away very much being that if we work together, we can achieve more”.