Children’s charity plans to expand activity programme

When the weather outside was proving to be anything but summer-like, these youngsters, pictured at Red House Academy, were still making the most of their time off school by keeping active and taking part in a range of sporting activities as part of a special summer camp.
When the weather outside was proving to be anything but summer-like, these youngsters, pictured at Red House Academy, were still making the most of their time off school by keeping active and taking part in a range of sporting activities as part of a special summer camp.
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A GROUP which ran a series of successful summer camps in Sunderland is hoping to secure funding to open after-school clubs in the city.

The charity Keep Kids Active has hosted 22 week-long summer camps at 11 different locations across the North East this year, including Castle View and Red House Academies.

More than 3,500 children have attended the sessions, which are aimed at introducing children, aged five to 11, to new sports, such as Kwik Cricket, basketball and some forms of dance.

Now the group is hoping to raise enough money to help establish after-school clubs in Sunderland, aimed at making children want to attend the holiday camps.

Colin Dagg, from Keep Kids Active, said: “Our sessions are all about kids having fun around physical activity. They get to do five hours a day, for up to five days a week.

“It’s great for parents too. It’s amazing how many struggle with child care, but at £3 a session. It’s an affordable solution.

“We are now in the process of looking for funding to put on regular after-school clubs, encouraging children to get involved in after-school provisions and, ultimately, with our summer camps.

“We have a database of parents who have used our camps and we have asked them if they would want their children to be able to go to after-school clubs. Their response has been ‘yes’.

“We can support schools by putting qualified coaches in there to help with the running of these clubs.”

As well as opening after-school clubs, the group hopes to reach out to 16 to 19 year olds, as well as attempting to tackle the growing obesity problem among youngsters aged from five.

The success of the group, which only started last September, has won it recognition from Sunderland City Council.

“I’d like to thank everyone from across the region who has supported us so far and hope they continue to do so in the future,” added Colin.

Twitter: @sunechomark