Arranging kids’ day-to-day activities like walking, running, spinning and throwing in a fun way, with a scientific perspective, can help meet their physical exercise requirement. Children should engage in physical activity programmes based on the ‘Four F’ concept (Fun, Fitness, Fundamental, and Friendship), conducted in suitable environments, that provide a balanced physical and academic education. In addition to helping children be fit, sports helps recognise students with a talent for sports and help develop their abilities too. Therefore, to develop unity, team spirit, friendship and other character building qualities among children, the Ministry of Education introduced the ‘Kids Athletics Programme’ for primary students in 2015.
The programme currently conducts team sports for Grades 3, 4 and 5. Nestlé sponsors this programme and has been of immense help in increasing the initiative’s popularity among schools. By developing the basic athletic talents of primary students, we aim to improve Sri Lanka’s future in athletics. Through this programme, more than 175,000 students participated in 247 divisional level games, 74 zonal level games and seven provincial level games in 2017. All provinces in the country will be represented at this year’s championship, totalling 5,940 children - i.e., 1,920 students from Grade 3, 2,016 students from Grade 4 and 2,004 students from Grade 5.
The competition for Grades 3 and 4 took place on March 3 at the Kandy Bogambara grounds while the competition for Grade 5 will take place on March 25 at the Maris Stella School grounds in Negombo. The All-Island Schools Kids Athletics Championshipis part of Nestle’s Kids Athletics Programme. It is the physical activity component of the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme, which teaches school children about improved diets, healthy cooking, hydration, food safety and hygiene. Both programmes are part of Nestlé’s global ‘Nestlé for Healthier Kids’ initiative, which aims at helping 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030, by offering nutritious products and advice for families on nutrition and exercise.