TWO sports games organisers (SGO) on the Isle of Wight are urging schools to ensure pupils get a minimum of an hour of daily physical exercise using their own challenge cards to support a national keep fit scheme.

Island-based Tony Harris and Andy Day, part of a nationwide team of 450 SGOs, are working for Sport England and children's charity, the Youth Sport Trust (YST), in supporting all schools to meet the national Chief Medical Officer's guidelines that every child should do the recommended hour of daily physical activity.

Once schools closed nationally as part of stringent coronavirus restrictions enforced by the government — which now sees remote working and social distancing the new norm — the scheme rolled out to them all for use at their discretion.

The weekly programme includes a variety of activities, such as fitness, personal challenges, online contests, problem solving games and those which support physical competence and mindfulness — all with an emphasis on fun and wellbeing — made easier for schools and families to discover great content, such the popular Joe Wicks workouts.

Isle of Wight County Press: Sports games organiser, Andy Day, with a group of students of The Bay CE Primary School last year. FILESports games organiser, Andy Day, with a group of students of The Bay CE Primary School last year. FILE

Tony and Andy, part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight SGO team, have added their own daily exercise and activity challenge cards, for primary and secondary schools on the Island, as part of the programme.

Aimed chiefly at primary school youngsters, the daily challenge card has five exercises to perform, with catchy titles such as Plank It Tuesday, Wall Sit Wednesday and Tuck Jump Thursday.

Tony and Andy are also providing some for secondary schools on the Isle of Wight to support home PE sessions.

These are also being circulated via the Isle of Wight Council's Public Health 0-19 initiative.

The priority of SGOs during the coronavirus crisis is to respond to the needs of schools still providing care to pupils, as well as families and children, to reduce sedentary behaviour and boredom, and instead foster daily exercise habits and a positive use of technology.

Tony explained: "In the current climate, staying fit and healthy is even more applicable with children, and especially teenagers, being confined to home.

"The activities we offer are circuit-based, with a daily challenge for pupils to attempt.

"If schools on the Island feel they fit their provision, they can feel free to send them out to their pupils at home.

"I am sure schools also have a system in place for pupils to upload photos or clips of them performing tasks set.

"I would encourage them to also upload these to the SGO twitter page @GamesIw naming the school they attend."

Ali Oliver, chief executive of YST, said: "There are two key priorities for our charity and the sport sector during this pandemic — to ensure physical literacy and fitness and mental health and promote healthier lifestyle habits and the positive and productive uses of technology.

“The anxiety and uncertainty this pandemic is causing young people is deeply upsetting and concerning for their future health.

"But this is what the YST, and other bodies we work with, exist for — to work tirelessly to support schools, communities, parents and carers to instill in children a love of movement and an understanding of how to unlock the physical, social, emotional and cognitive benefits that come from play and sport.”

Sport England’s chief executive, Tim Hollingsworth, said: "Helping our children stay active is going to be more important than ever — for everyone’s physical and mental health.

"All the research shows the biggest driver of whether children are active or not, is enjoyment, so this brand new online programme is built with that in mind.

"We would encourage parents to build activity into their own routines too, because research shows they are great role models

"Active parents are more likely to have active children."

The weekly programme and other resources are available on