The 5X60 programme intends to make significant inroads into the Welsh Assembly’s target of 90% of secondary pupils achieving 60 minutes of physical activity five times a week by 2020. Currently 99% of secondary schools are involved in 5x60.
5x60 is set to change the face of provision of sport in schools and transform playing fields and sports halls into hubs of bustling activity from daybreak to nightfall. 5x60 officers are based in secondary schools and it is their role to consult with the pupils, listen to their needs and the barriers which prevent them from participating in activity. They will timetable a programme of activities that suit the pupils’ needs. These activities can take place before school during lunch after school and at weekends. The activities will be mainly targeting individuals that currently do not participate or who are in danger of losing interest.
The types of activities that have been successful;
• Traditional competitive activities. This would be a continuation of the types of activities that they have already enjoyed through Dragon Sport and also other new sports such as dodgeball, basketball and badminton. These activities can be offered through inter house/form competitions and many more pupils remained involved.
• Recreational activities such as dance, aerobics, fitness, trampolining, these types of activities have been in high demand in previous programmes.
• Coached activities in a more informal setting giving pupils the opportunity to achieve a reasonable amount of skill and therefore enjoy the game a little more.
• Activities in the Outdoors. Wales has a huge natural resource that is available to everyone. Young people are being offered the opportunity to experience activities such as coasteering, surfing, canoeing, climbing and mountain biking. This experience provides them with the confidence to continue to pursue their interest in adult life.
Finding suitable deliverers is a large part of the 5X60 officer’s role. They provide training opportunities for the older pupils in the school; this supports the delivery of the programme. The training provides the pupils with a qualification and enable them to contribute to the workforce in this capacity. Volunteers and coaches from the local community are also involved in delivering the programme.
Providing club links and exit routes for the pupils is vital to make the programme sustainable. It is expected that 5X60 will develop more interest in sport and physical activity in a variety of forms. The 5X60 officers need to make the links with the community and sports development teams to be able to meet this demand.
It is anticipated that through this programme the pupils will have the opportunity to try a range of activities that are not currently available to them in school at present. The young people have ownership of the programme and are able to shape it to suit their needs. The ethos of the 5X60 is similar to Dragon Sport in that the main target is for pupils to have fun while taking part. If this happens and the pupils really enjoy the opportunities, then they are more likely to continue to participate in activity throughout their lives.
A dedicated 5x60 website has been developed to explain more about the 5x60 scheme.