Frogs, X-Fit and Owzat: How Hastings and Rother pupils are staying active in lockdown

Knowing the vital importance of keeping children healthy and active, schools across Hastings and Rother have been promoting challenges to encourage kids to get off the sofa.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 8:15 am
Pupils enjoyed a Santa dash before Christmas

With virtual competition now the norm, the autumn term saw several inter-school events including the ‘sMiles’ Cross Country competition which had an incredible 11,000 entries from schools across the area, a hugely popular Santa Dash and to celebrate National Fitness Day and the Frog Challenge, based on yoga.

With many children once again at home for online learning, the Specsavers ‘Virtual’ Sussex School Games which ran for 11 weeks last summer and saw almost 75,000 entries, has this time taken a seasonal theme with the launch of the Winter Games on February 1.

Running for four weeks, the first week alone saw 12,000 children from across Sussex take part in challenges including Snowboarder’s Switch and Ski Slalom. With each challenge designed to test fitness, agility and physical literacy and needing no specialist equipment, this is an excellent way for children to be active and a unique opportunity for them to represent their school at county level.

The Frog Challenge

Alongside the School Games, the Hastings and Rother School Sport and PE Partnership has organised an ongoing challenge with schools racing against each other to reach Olympic venues.

Primary schools are attempting the 160 miles from Hastings to Paris, site of the 2024 Games, while secondary schools are aiming for Tokyo, a total of 5958 miles. Students log the number of miles they walk, run or cycle each week and submit their results to teachers who tally the figures and send them to the School Games organisers.

With several schools having reached Paris and others well on the way to Tokyo, the challenge has been extended to see which school can log the most miles in Lockdown 3.

Schools are also involved in X Fit, a competition based on personal challenges, an online athletics event that allows children to reach a series of graded levels and the ‘Owzat Cricket Skills Competition led by Sussex Cricket Foundation.

Rebecca Antcliffe, school games organiser for Hastings and Rother, said: “Physical activity is essential for children’s health, with enormous impact on their mental and emotional wellbeing as well as their physical health.

“Schools are doing all they can to encourage students to remain active during the pandemic and these virtual events are a way for children to remain engaged with their school community.”