There has been a rise in the number of children with mental health issues in our schools. At Westmorland School in Stockport, they wanted to introduce a programme to show how physical activity can have a positive effect on children’s mental health as well as physical health.
Introducing a New Sport!
The school decided to host a weekly Taekwondo club and target children who have been identified as having mental health problems that manifest themselves in different ways.
The children filled in a questionnaire before the sessions started to gauge their level of confidence and mental health.
The sessions are being delivered by a local Taekwondo club instructor and the school have had support from GB Taekwondo too. Two athletes launched the programme at the school and they will be returning to the school sessions further along the programme.
There has been a consistent attendance at the sessions, a real engagement from the children and excellent feedback.
The school has found that each child has benefitted in some way with the main improvement being the children’s focus and concentration.
Every child has enjoyed and looked forward to their weekly sessions. Their confidence has grown weekly and their general health has improved, notably their flexibility.
“The Taekwondo sessions which have taken place in Westmorland school have been a huge success. The children chosen to participate have all had, or are going through various levels of low self-esteem trauma or on-going mental health conditions. One of the children who is not particularly agile or outgoing is having Taekwondo lessons outside of school. The trainer has been superb, explaining each and every move carefully and giving encouragement to each child along the way.”
Teacher at Westmorland
The pupils from Westmorland’s said:
“I enjoy Taekwondo as it’s built up my self-confidence”
“I feel proud when I have completed a session”
“I like going into school on that day as I look forward to Taekwondo!”
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The inaugural Greater Manchester (GM) Active Ageing Week took place from July 29th – August 2nd 2019 aiming to encourage and enable older adults to move more within everyday life to benefit their mental and physical health and to reduce social isolation.