One Third of Children with Asthma Miss Out on Sport Once a Week
Asthma in Children
One third of children with asthma miss out on PE or other sport about once a week because of their asthma, according to an online poll by Asthma UK, highlighting the launch of its Out there and active campaign in Wales today.
Exercise is good for everyone, including children and young people with asthma, the majority of whom should be able to take part in sport and exercise if their asthma is under control. Many sporting stars compete at a high level despite having the condition, including Welsh pentathlete Alexandra Rowell and Indoor 1500m Champion James Thie. Both are featured in Asthma UK's Out there and active poster for schools that is launched today.
The launch comes at the start of the rugby season and Welsh rugby star Gethin Jenkins, who has asthma himself, showed his support for the campaign by attending the unveiling of the Out there and active poster at a training session for Ton Du Rugby Football Club's mini rugby team. Louise Trowbridge has seen the benefits that training with the team have had for her eight year old son: 'Sion's asthma gets worse in the colder weather but that hasn't stopped him from playing rugby. His coach makes sure that he warms up properly before training or a game, Sion knows how to recognise if his symptoms are getting worse and we always make sure he has access to his inhaler in case he needs it while he's playing. Sion absolutely loves playing rugby and I really believe that being fit and active helps him to keep his asthma under control.'
Nia Jeffreys, National Manager of Asthma UK Cymru, comments: 'We were shocked to find that one in five parents in Wales believe that people's attitudes towards their child's asthma stop their child from taking part in exercise and sport. Asthma UK Cymru hopes that the positive role models featured in our campaign will inspire children and young people with asthma to get out there and active.
'Not everyone will want to become a sporting star of course, and a very small minority of children and young people may find it difficult to participate fully because they have difficult to control asthma, but we want to highlight that exercise is good for all children and young people, including those with asthma.'
World Champion runner Paula Radcliffe also has asthma and is featured in Asthma UK's new leaflet Out there and active. A guide for parents, which is being launched alongside the poster for schools. The guide includes information and advice for parents to help their child with asthma take part in exercise in and out of school, improve their fitness and keep their asthma symptoms under control.
For free copies of Out there and active. A guide for parents and of the Out there and active poster for schools call Asthma UK on 020 7786 5000, email [email protected] or visit asthma.org.uk for further information.
The Out there and active poster for schools is endorsed by Dragon Sport, a Sports Council for Wales lottery funded initiative. Chief Executive of the Sports Council for Wales, Dr. Huw Jones says: 'Physical activity has an integral part to play in the development of children and young people as it improves general wellbeing and fitness. The Dragon Sport scheme encourages teachers and parents to get children involved in sport from an early age and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Asthma UK to get school children out there and active.'