Summer activities programme has encouraged children in the region to move more

South Tyneside Council’s summer holiday activity and sports programme has proved a hit with families in the region

Councillors Alan Kerr, Moira Smith and Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Coun Richard Porthouse with his wife Pat are pictured alongside Lyra Bullock and Tia Smith
Councillors Alan Kerr, Moira Smith and Deputy Mayor and Mayoress Coun Richard Porthouse with his wife Pat are pictured alongside Lyra Bullock and Tia Smith

Families have been moving more this summer thanks to a packed programme of sporting activities on offer during the school holidays.

South Tyneside Council’s summer holiday activity and sports coaching programme has offered sessions on mini-athletics, football coaching, tennis and multi-sports.

Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse and his wife Pat, recently attended the football coaching session at Monkton Stadium along with their nine-year-old granddaughter Tia Smith.

“The coaching sessions are proving popular with families and have been very well attended,” said Coun Porthouse. “It’s great to see children having fun while being active and taking part in different types of sport that they might not have had the chance to play before.”

Deputy leader Coun Alan Kerr who has responsibility for culture and leisure services praised the programme for helping to get more young people active and enjoying sport.

He said: “Making sure children stay active and entertained throughout the summer holidays can be a struggle for families.

“However, the council’s public health team has joined forces with the sports development team in a bid to encourage families to move more throughout the summer.

“This programme is just a taste of things to come in the future that will help to keep our local families healthy and happy.”

Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, Coun Moira Smith, added: “By working together we are supporting children to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improving the physical, emotional and overall wellbeing of the young people.”

Adam Bullock, of Harton, South Tyneside, said his daughter Lyra, five, has enjoyed attending the summer programme.

The 40-year-old father added: “The sporting sessions on offer are great value and really help to keep Lyra occupied over the six week break.

“She has really enjoyed trying out the different sports and we signed up to the Change4Life campaign which has given us lots of ideas as a family to keep active over the holidays.”

Gary Hoggeth, 34, whose sons Ben eight, Owen, six, and seven-year-old nephew Mac attended the football coaching sessions, travelled from his home in North Tyneside so that his children could attend the South Tyneside programme.

“I work in South Tyneside so I’ve been able to drop the kids off at the session on my way to work,” he said.

“Knowing that they’re having fun and being cared for while I’m at work is great. The kids love the coaching programme and it keeps them fit and healthy.”

The council’s activity programmes are aimed at five to 16-year-olds and have run throughout the school holidays.

There is still time to sign up for the 10 Minute Shake Up to receive a free pack containing inspiration, ideas and tools to help kids on their way to achieving their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day.

Packs include a wall chart, reward stickers and 10 Minute Shake Up Disney character activity cards.

The scheme aims to help the four in five children who currently do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day and the 40% who do less than 30 minutes per day, by helping to break it down into 10 minute bursts of fun.

Meanwhile, the Journal’s Great North Fitness Revolution campaign is challenging everyone to make a pledge to get active and make the positive changes that will lead to a better quality of life, and South Tyneside Council’s activity programme is in-keeping with this.

Those wanting to sign up for 10 Minute Shake Up Disney should register their details with Change4Life at


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer