13 Feb 2007

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, today backed Playboard’s call for more play time in school!

Ms Lewsley said NICCY has been working hard to support plans, policies and initiatives that encourage children and young people to get active.

“Obesity is a major problem for far too many of our children and young people,” said the Commissioner. “Playboard’s call for extended break times and more playground games shows how a common sense approach can be adopted to great benefit.

“One of NICCY’s key priorities is to make sure that there are adequate play and leisure facilities for children and young people of all ages, and this call from Playboard perfectly complements that.”

Play is one of the 15 key priorities of NICCY. The Commissioner’s office has already been involved in detailed discussions with Government on developing a Northern Ireland play strategy and will be responding to the recent consultation on play facilities for under-11s.

In addition NICCY co-hosted a major conference on play with Playboard and NIPPA – the Early Years Organisation last year, at which Government gave a commitment to improve play and leisure facilities.

“We are convinced that a co-ordinated, well thought out play and leisure strategy – supported and funded by Government – will result in reduced levels of obesity among children and young people,” said Ms Lewsley. “The Playboard initiative is especially welcome as it uses existing facilities and staff without further expenditure

“That is why I am delighted to endorse the proposals from Playboard that will integrate this approach into playgrounds – and importantly make it fun for all!”