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Northumberland charity lands lottery cash boost

Paralympian gold medallist Stephen Miller with some of the youngsters at Smile Through Sport.
Paralympian gold medallist Stephen Miller with some of the youngsters at Smile Through Sport.

An organisation encouraging more families to get active together has received a cash boost.

SMILE Through Sport is celebrating after being awarded £173,835 from Sport England.

The National Lottery funding will help an initiative to support low income families, in particular those with a disabled member, to get active with their children.

Figures show four out of five primary school children do not get the recommended amount of daily exercise of 60 minutes a day.

SMILE Through Sport creates opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to take part in sport and physical activities across the north east of England.

The project will see families learn skills through training courses and resource packs, gain knowledge and become confident to take part and remain active in sport and physical activity, with all members of the family being involved.

Cramlington’s Paralymic gold medallist Stephen Miller, founder of SMILE Through Sport, said: “We are thrilled to receive National Lottery funding.

“This project will allow us to work with families in Northumberland, helping them to become active together.

“The project will benefit families greatly by enhancing their skills and confidence to do more sport and physical activity together.

“When I was younger my family had to learn how to include me in sport and activity and I’m really pleased I now get to help other families to do this.”

Sport England’s director of children and young people Jayne Molyneux said: “It’s not right that four in five children don’t get enough exercise and are missing out on the health benefits it brings.

“Just by seeing their parents being active, children can be inspired to do the same, and if they have an enjoyable experience they’re far more likely to continue as an adult.

“Parents have many demands on their time, and often lack the confidence to get active with their children.

“That’s why Sport England is working hard to make getting active with your children an easy choice.”