PRIMARY schools across Reading are being asked to sign up to a new initiative to encourage children to be more active.

The Move More campaign, by Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) will focus on helping pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school and will be supporting schools to introduce more physical activities.

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Schools are being asked to sign up to a commitment to increase active participation in a way that is safe and in line with government and public health coronavirus guidance.

The campaign also includes food tips, advice and simple recipes which can help children to eat healthily.

The project is being supported by Reading Borough Council's (RBC) transport and public health teams as well as Get Berkshire Active.

Move More is also promoting free cycle training for children with Bikeability, and the Modeshift STARS awards scheme, which recognises schools that demonstrate excellence in supporting cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable transport.

Across the country, there is a growing problem of children and young people becoming overweight or obese, which has a big impact on their lives and their future health prospects.

Schools are also being encouraged to consider the possibility of creating "School Streets" through the campaign.

A Reading council initiative, School Streets allows schools to close the street outside their building to through traffic for up to 45 minutes, twice a day, keeping the area outside the school gates clear of traffic.

Doctor Kate Reynolds, Director of Education at BFfC, said: "I am delighted that Brighter Futures for Children has been able to team up with our council partners and Get Berkshire Active in this campaign to get Reading's children moving more.

"I know this is a challenging time for schools but with their support I believe we can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our children and young people in Reading."

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Cllr Ashley Pearce, Reading's lead councillor for Education, said: "The issue of children and young people becoming less active and the consequences of that on their health and wellbeing is a nationwide problem, and one that is very concerning.

"Fortunately, it is possible to improve the health and fitness of young people with a little extra effort and no extra cost.

"The potential benefits are enormous both for children’s physical and mental wellbeing and for their health prospects in the future."