Kent sports coaching Kickstart Sports in Sittingbourne donates PE bags to youngsters in lockdown
PE bags packed full of sports equipment have been donated to Kent families in need of support in keeping children active during lockdown.
Kickstart Sports would in ordinary times be coaching hundreds of youngsters across the county each week in sports including football, netball, tennis and rugby, both inside and outside of school.
But with grassroots sports and team games on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, coaches have turned their attention to how best they might be able to support youngsters who are struggling to stay active at home.
The Sittingbourne-based team, led by director George Mannering, has launched an initiative to source, fund and donate PE bags packed full of equipment to families who may be most in need of some additional help to encourage their children to keep moving whilst schools and clubs are closed.
Each bag is worth £20 and there are five different bags to choose from for football, netball, rugby, tennis and basketball.
Within each sports bag is a larger item of sports equipment associated with that designated sport accompanied by a set of cones, bean bags, other balls, a skipping rope and a stress ball as a small aid and reminder of the importance of looking after children's mental health during this pandemic.
George explained: "It was important for us to cover as many different sports whilst still enabling us to keep the bags enticing for boys and girls of all ages.
"The equipment arrives in a draw string bag which can then be used to store the equipment at home, transport it, or even can be used when children are back at school as their new P.E. bag."
Already, 150 bags have been distributed to families most likely to benefit, thanks to sponsorship from driving and recruitment firm Will Barnes Limited, which also offered warehouse space for packing and help with delivery.
Primary schools across the county, which Kickstart coaches already work with on a weekly basis, were the first points of contact in reaching the most deserving families and staff have helped get the kits out to lots of youngsters most likely to benefit from a donation of sporting equipment.
And whilst delivering PE lessons and out of school sports clubs and coaching sessions isn't currently able to go ahead, George and his team are exploring the launch of online PE lessons and fitness sessions to give children new and exciting games to play which could also be used with the new equipment bags.
Kickstart is also now on the lookout for other Kent firms who would be interested in joining the Kickstart Keep Fit initiative in order to build more kit bags for communities in need.
Businesses able to sponsor any number of new bags - big or small - are being encouraged to get in touch at email@example.com or contact the company through its social media channels @KickstartSportsUK