Taking part in sport and other forms of exercise can improve children’s thinking and learning skills, according to new research.
A report published in a medical journal found that children who took part in organised activities, such as football and swimming, for more than an hour a week performed better than inactive children in a series of mental tests.
Bosses at a sports coaching company in Shropshire said the research highlighted one of the many reasons for the record-breaking numbers of children coming to their after-school and holiday clubs.
Neil Prescott, co-director at Ball Sports Community Coaching, said: “The vast majority of people understand the benefits that exercise can have for children, and this research is further evidence of that.
“Over the past year we have seen record numbers of children coming to our holiday clubs, and we are now working with an increasing number of schools to run after-school clubs too.”
The research was undertaken by the Medical College of Georgia in the US, and was published in the Paediatric Exercise Science journal.
Researchers studied a group of average-weight children aged from seven to 11, half of whom were active and half inactive, and compared their performance in a series of tests with a group of overweight and inactive children.
Study author, Catherine Davis, said: “Activity made a difference even among normal-weight kids. That verifies that physical activity makes a difference in brain function.”
Mr Prescott established Ball Sports in 2008 with business partner, Steve Lalley, and the pair said 2015 was set to be their busiest year yet.
“Things have gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years in particular,” Mr Prescott said.
“We rebranded in the summer with a new website and logo, and are now running more courses than we have ever have before.”
The company holds multi-sports camps across the county, with regular holiday clubs held at Oswestry School and Market Drayton Rugby Club.
For more information visit the website at www.ballsportscoaching.co.uk or call 01952 455510.