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Summer Extravaganza gets hundreds active during school break

More than 400 young people attended the Palace for Life Summer Extravaganza, taking part in a range of free activities throughout August that were designed to keep five to 18-year-olds safe, active and healthy during the school holidays.

Following the COVID-19 lockdown, we wanted to provide young people with the chance to socialise and try new things before their return to school or college. The sessions focused on both physical and mental health and included football, dance, DJing, gaming, cheerleading and arts and crafts, as well as educational workshops on mental wellbeing and healthy eating.

We ran a holiday camp at Heavers Farm Primary Schools for under 11s, whereas the older age group had the option to attend ‘drop in’ style sessions at Selhurst Sports Arena or take part in online gaming programme Pad Chat as part of Premier League Kicks.

In addition, 40 local teenagers completed our NCS programme at Selhurst Park, taking part in team building and workshops before planning and completing inspiring social action projects.

Of the five to 11-year-olds who attended our Summer Extravaganza, 85% were eligible for free schools meals, 86% had low physical activity levels or were physically inactive before joining the programme and 65% were from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.*

During our holiday camp, all children in attendance completed more than the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

Palace for Life Foundation’s Deputy Head of Sports and Wellbeing Michael Harrington said: “We are based in the heart of south London and exist to support the young people living in the communities around Selhurst Park. It is vital that the sessions we run are inclusive and meet their needs. It has been such a difficult year for young people, who have missed out on so much, and we wanted to encourage them to have fun, while also staying healthy.

“We couldn’t have done this alone and we worked with some incredible partners including DJ Milktray, Tons of Sound, Mentivity, Go2Games, SLiDE, LaserTag2U, PACA and Whitgift Van Hire.”

Following the summer, 97% of parents said their children felt safe at the venues and 97% rated the standard of our coaching as good or excellent.*

One of those parents, who is a key worker and was unable to access her usual childcare, said: “My daughter was apprehensive about attending the summer club, but the first day she arrived, the staff made her feel welcomed and reassured her at the gate. She said the staff were friendly, encouraging, fun and engaged really well with her and her peers. She was excited to attend every day, and looked forward to each day’s activities.

During the holiday camps, we served 900 healthy lunches to children, as well as providing fruit and other healthy snacks. The parent continued: “My daughter is a very fussy eater, however she ate every day at club. She said the cook was very good and she enjoyed every meal, she ate things she would never eat at home!”

Take a look at the ongoing free sessions that we’re running.

*Figures quoted refer to children aged 5-11 who attended our holiday camp at Heavers Farm, sessions at Selhurst Sports Arena and a paid holiday camp that we ran at Downsview Primary School.

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