Author: our Recruitment Marketing Officer – Natalya

Exam season is in full swing, with teens across the UK taking their GCSEs and A-Levels. This can put teens under a lot of stress that they may have never experienced before. When exams are over, teens can worry about what comes next as they wait to start their A-Levels or find out if they got their university place. Read on to learn more about the benefits of physical activity, particularly for mental health, which can suffer during exams, and how Kings Camps are working to combat the issues surrounding low numbers of teens meeting physical activity targets.

It’s recommended that teenagers engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily, with moderate aerobic exercise (like dancing, swimming or running) deemed the most effective. But according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), four in five teens aren’t meeting their daily targets. Several reasons contribute to the low number of teens getting active, the main factors being cost, accessibility and availability of local facilities. Whilst physical activity levels have dropped, the average time spent sitting in front of a screen has increased. The number of girls leaving sports at this age is also rising, with almost 85% of teenage girls missing out on their recommended exercise.

Mental health issues in young people have been steadily rising since 2017, and the numbers have only increased since the COVID-19 lockdowns. Getting teens active won’t only improve physical fitness but also improve mental well-being. Some of the prime benefits to mental health through physical activity is improved confidence, better body image and a sense of self-belief. Group activities like team sports are also proven to improve social skills in young people (and adults!) – it’s an opportunity to meet new friends with similar interests, develop social skills, builds respect, fair play, and so much more!

Two coaches shaking hands in front of a Kings Camps sign

Now we’ve explored the benefits of physical activity, what can we do to increase the number of teenagers participating in activities and sports?

Our school holiday programmes offer activities for young people aged 12 – 17 years. The Multi-Active Programme for ages 12 – 14 offers 30 sports and activities across the week. Multi-Active is a great place to play sports, gain skills and have fun with others of a similar age during the holidays. The Rookie Academy provides activity, sports and leadership skills for 15 – 17s. With three levels to Rookie Academy, each taking a minimum of two weeks to complete, it’s a great opportunity to develop practical experience and activities with theory. The final level offers Teens the opportunity to gain a “1st4sport Level 3 Diploma Certificate”, which is great for college applications and record of achievements. As well as enjoying lots of activities, teens develop confidence and life skills such as teamwork, confidence and cooperation!

Rookie Academy offers a great pathway to employment from the age of 18. For those who are completely new to Kings or not quite ready to lead their own group, we offer work experience places, requiring a minimum of two weeks on camp. This is a great opportunity to shadow our coaching team and gain practical experience learning about sports coaching techniques, child supervision, behaviour management, well-being and health and safety – all critical skills for a career in education and sports coaching.

With the Multi-Active programme, Rookie Academy and Work Experience opportunities, we’ve catered to teens of all ages over the holidays! Parents can rest easy knowing their teens are in a safe environment, having fun and gaining valuable skills ideal for future life and career goals.

This August, in partnership with the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), we’re launching The Weekender for teens of RNRMC families. We already run camps at several UK naval bases and offer dispersed families places at our camps across the UK. We understand there are already mounting pressures on young adults and appreciate the extra challenges teens of Royal Navy families face. Moving around the country and changing schools multiple times, plus periods of time without one or both of their parents can make it difficult for Teens of Royal Navy families to settle and make friends. Not all young people will understand these challenges, so we’ve created an experience where they can meet others their age, facing similar challenges in their families. And above all, have a fun weekend where they enjoy getting active and making new friends in world-class sports facilities at Loughborough University. To express interest in attending The Weekender – click here

Getting more active and increasing physical fitness isn’t the only thing needed to combat stress and improve mental health, but it’s a really good place to start! And the number of physical benefits that come from regular exercise shouldn’t be underestimated either.

To learn more about how teens can get involved with Kings Camps, visit the programmes page or work experience for opportunities for 18 and over.