The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook is currently gathering news items for major features on the health of the Nation in this London Olympic year for publication in the next edition
As reported at the time by the Parliamentary Yearbook, In January 2009 the last Government launched the Change4Life campaign, a society-wide movement that aimed to prevent people from becoming overweight by encouraging them to eat better and move more. It was the marketing component of the Government’s response to the rise in obesity and aimed to inspire a societal movement in which everyone who has an interest in preventing obesity, be they Government, business, healthcare professionals, charities, schools, families or individuals, can play their part.
In February this year the coalition Government, in order to harness the energy and excitement of the Olympic Games this summer announced that in June Games4Life for schools would be launched as part of the ongoing Change4 Life campaign, aiming to inspire children and their families to get their active minutes every day. Games4Life set itself a challenging ambition, for these to be the first Olympics to get more people off their sofas and physically active during summer 2012 and more importantly, beyond.
Some of the opportunities Games4Life presents include:
- Co-branding existing Responsibility Deal physical activity work, or any other existing physical activity initiatives, with Games4Life this summer
- Implement Games4life activity around Euro 2012, Olympics/Paralympics, School holidays, summer outdoor play and other sporting events
- Assist with the dissemination of personalised activity plans
- Provide incentives or promotions to encourage participation in physical activity and sign up to Change4Life, e.g. Facebook, media partnership, activity pack
- Align employee programmes, co-brand employee communications and run employee events.
Then today Games4Life was launched by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
The campaign will build on the excitement of the sporting activities taking place this summer and will encourage millions of people to get involved and get active.
This summer there will be over 1,200 hours of sport on TV, which is an average of 13 hours a day.
New research shows that 93 per cent of us will be tuning into some of this coverage during the next three months. The survey also shows that over half of us will snack on crisps, four in ten adults will drink alcohol and one in five will eat a takeaway whilst watching.
In a bid to get the nation up off the sofa, Games4Life will be encouraging everyone to fill out a simple activity check questionnaire in return for a tailored Games4Life activity pack to keep both adults and kids active during the summer months.
The innovative campaign will bring ideas and inspiration to the public’s fingertips via the Change4Life website, which is full of fun, easy and free ways for everyone to get moving. And for families, there’s a new mobile app – the Fun Generator – that will equip parents and families with over 100 indoor and outdoor activity ideas for kids of all ages.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“I’m looking forward to watching what is shaping up to be an exciting summer of sport on TV, beginning today with the first England football match in Euro 2012.
“But we know that playing sport can be as much fun as watching it and we want to help people make the most of opportunities to get active.
“That is why we are launching Games4Life: to inspire us all to get off our sofas and try some activity ourselves.”
Sally Gunnell, former British Olympic Champion and mother of three, said:
“Major sporting events on TV always inspire people to try something out but we sometimes don’t make it past the front door because we’re not sure where to start. It’s great that this campaign strikes while the iron’s hot and gives people encouragement to get active this summer.
“I’ll certainly be looking out for my Games4Life questionnaire and will be filling it out for my whole family.”
Around 2.6 million activity packs have already been distributed to 7,500 schools across the country with lesson plans for teachers and take-home activities for children to use throughout their summer holidays.
ASDA, Aldi and JJB have also pledged their support for Games4Life and will promoting the campaign through events, sports related offers and promotional material.
Local Authorities and Change4Life supporters are also getting involved in supporting Games4Life and will be distributing over four million questionnaires to local communities.
The campaign will be supported by TV, digital, press advertising and social media activity.