Bid to make Suffolk's kids the healthiest in UK

A MAJOR campaign to improve the health and fitness of Suffolk's 50,000 primary school children will be launched tomorrow.

A MAJOR campaign is being launched today to improve the health and fitness of Suffolk's 50,000 primary school children.

The Healthy Ambitions Suffolk Challenge project has been created with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games in mind and is aimed at inspiring the county's children to become the healthiest in the UK.

The project has been funded by Suffolk County Council and NHS Suffolk and is being supported by organisations including Archant, parent company of the East Anglian Daily Times, and Ipswich Town Football Club.

The scheme will be unveiled todayat Trinity Park in Ipswich when Beijing Olympians and Paralympians from Suffolk will be helping to raise the profile, along with Ipswich Town's David Sheepshanks.

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Every primary school pupil in Suffolk will be invited to take part in the challenge, and each one that does will receive a free activity item, such as a frisbee, kite, ball or skipping rope.

The scheme will see activity cards given out to children, demonstrating how they can incorporate exercise into their lives.

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Dr Peter Bradley, director of public health for NHS Suffolk and Suffolk County Council, said the challenge was a “really exciting” project and showed that there were many different ways for children to get active.

He said: “Everything counts, from playing organised sport to being active around the home or garden to building activity into everyday life.

“The challenge is a really important part of our campaign to make Suffolk the healthiest county in England by 2028, and we'd encourage all of the county's primary school aged children to sign up and get involved.”

Lisa Chambers, the county council's head of economic and cultural development, said it was a fantastic opportunity for thousands of children in Suffolk to make a positive impact on their health.

She said: “We firmly believe that the London Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide the inspiration and motivation for our children to achieve this challenge.

“We know that the games will inspire young people across the UK to be more active. After all, the bid was built around inspiring young people.”

She said the county needed to be ready to respond to the increased demand, with organisations across the county prepared to do “everything they can” to use the inspiration of the games to encourage children in Suffolk to become the healthiest in the UK by 2012.

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