Pre-school aged children in Wigan were joined by Latics’ first team player Nick Powell at the launch of the Kids on the Move programme.
Youngsters aged three and four years old from the Westfield Start Well Family Centre attended the session at Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s base at Montrose Skills Hub near the DW Stadium, and took part in fun activities which were designed to improve their balance and coordination. Kids on the Move – a project that has received funding of £40,000 for the next three years from BBC Children in Need and £10,000 from Wigan Council – will see coaches from the Community Trust work with young children and their parents from various Start Well family centres across the Wigan Borough to enhance their life chances by making them more school ready.
Nick said: “My little girl has just turned 17 months old and playing with her and seeing how happy she gets is the same as this, so it’s a great programme and the work of the Community Trust in enhancing children’s lives is brilliant.”
A 20-week Kids on the Move pilot scheme was delivered to 12 children by the Trust last year thanks to funding from Wigan Council, and the project had a significant impact on their physical, social and personal skills, with 100% of pupils improving three or more baseline challenges, five pupils made progress on all challenges and one pupil improved a baseline challenge by 150%.
Cllr Jenny Bullen, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We are delighted to contribute funding to this initiative which will encourage children to be active and help them develop vital skills so they are ready to start primary school. This is all part of our work to ensure children get the best start in life and have access to fantastic opportunities.”
To date the UK public has raised over £950 million for young people facing disadvantage in different parts of the country, with more than £441,000 invested by BBC Children in Need to community groups across Wigan.
Tom Kirk, Regional Officer (North) for BBC Children in Need, said: “We’re committed to improving the lives of children and young people who need it the most by supporting projects such as Kids on the Move, which work locally to make real lasting changes to the lives of participants.”
For more information about the Kids on the Move programme, please email Wigan Athletic Community Trust’s Community Development Manager Wes Partington on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01942 318090