Local charity Active Oxfordshire is delighted to be entering into a three-year partnership with Radley College, which is set to help hundreds of young people to learn to swim and be more active – at a time when a serious swimming crisis is unfolding across the county.
Active Oxfordshire and Radley College have been working together since 2018 to help local children and young people to learn to swim, ride a bike and learn new skills such as rowing. This became even more critical as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, when children across the county missed out on swimming lessons as leisure centres and schools were closed. Radley College were able to partner with The Oxford Academy to provide catch up swimming, and from there a new Oxford Academy Rowing Partnership was formed.
Radley College have also held regular bike donation days, with 350 bikes donated to young people in Oxford, and extra donation drives held for bike refugee project Sanctuary Wheels.
This new three-year partnership will provide children and young people from The Oxford Academy with the chance to learn to swim and row, and comes at a critically important time. Right now, in Oxfordshire’s richest areas 80% of children can swim by the time they finish primary school, but this falls to less than 10% in our county’s most deprived areas.* This partnership will challenge these major health inequalities, so that more children have the opportunities they deserve to live an active life.
Active Oxfordshire and Radley College are now looking for opportunities to expand this partnership model further across the county, to reach even more young people in most need.
Josh Lenthall, Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, says:
“We’re delighted to be entering into this three-year partnership with Radley College. Thanks to Radley’s support, hundreds more children and young people in Oxfordshire can now swim, ride a bike and enjoy rowing. We know that only half of children in our county are doing enough activity to protect their health and wellbeing, and with the cost of living crisis causing so much concern, this situation could get significantly worse. Our partnership with Radley College will make sure that children can still enjoy being active, and we’re looking forward to reaching many more children and young people over the next three years.”
John Sparks, Director of Partnerships at Radley College, says:
“This is as much a movement as it is a partnership; a shared vision to help provide greater opportunity for young people in Oxfordshire to become more active. Health and wellbeing are essential in raising achievement in young people, and an active lifestyle goes a long way to building confidence and self-esteem. It has been a great pleasure to welcome children and young people to Radley College. As a school we have become more aware of the needs, while our pupils have gained experience leading on events and working alongside the experienced Active Oxfordshire team. We look forward to strengthening and growing our existing projects and developing new opportunities more widely across Oxfordshire.”