Because Every Child Matters


Did You Know That…

25% of boys and 33% of girls aged between 2-19 years are overweight or obese (BMI over 30).

As a result children’s lives are being shortened by approximately 9 years due to the associated health risks which include heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression and anxiety.

Almost one in 10 children in Reception are obese

What’s even more shocking is that by the time they leave primary school, this doubles to nearly one in five.

Surprisingly a recent study by Plymouth University showed that a huge 75% of parents didn’t recognise their child was overweight. 33% of Dad’s and 57% of Mum’s thought their child’s weight was fine!


What Are The Causes?


Too little exercise

Too much junk food

Basically too much salt, sugar and saturated fats. On average, children only consume 2 portions of
fruit or veg per day! A five year long study has shown a massive 213 % increase in the amount of money spent outside the school canteen on sweets, fizzy dinks, crisps and chocolate. The increase in children’s weight could also be down to the explosion of computers and technology, which has the impact of reducing overall physical activity levels and results in a more sedentary lifestyle.


Every Child Matters

For most parents, our children are everything to us: our hopes, our ambitions, our future. Our children are cherished and loved. We want to maximise the opportunities open to them – to improve their life chances, to change the odds set against them. Our aims are very much in line with proposals put forward by the Government in 2003 in their ‘Every Child Matters’ Green Paper. This Paper put forward proposals to ensure that every child has the chance to fulfil their potential by reducing levels of educational failure, ill health, substance misuse, teenage pregnancy, abuse and neglect, crime and anti-social behaviour among children and young people. When consulted, children, young people and families, wanted the Government to set out a positive vision of the outcomes which mattered most to children and young people which included ‘being healthy’: enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle.



How Fitness Matters Active Kids Can Help

Our mission is to support children, parents and authorities working with children in maximising individual potential through promoting activity and healthy living. Our service is aimed at primary and secondary school aged children and offers structured sessions focussing on exercise, teamwork, balance and coordination, participation, confidence building and competition. We also promote sensible food choices under the guise of ‘fuelling activity’. We are able to offer individual support to parents/families who would prefer more in depth intervention.


Fitness Matters Active Kids and Indoor Rowing

Fitness Matters Indoor Rowing is a well recognised provider of indoor rowing coaching, training workshops and race events throughout the year. We also incorporate our indoor rowing expertise into our Active Kids provision. Read more about the health benefits of indoor rowing via our indoor rowing page



Can indoor rowing help you enhance your Every Child Matters provision?

Indoor rowing engages with such a wide range of young people in many ways, and is a very flexible sporting option that can be easily tailored to complement other activities.

It can be used as a catalyst to teach about, and take part in, a healthy lifestyle as well as being a fun and inclusive activity.

It is inherently a safe activity in itself, plus, participants stay in one place so they are easy to keep track of.

Indoor rowing lends itself easily to sponsored fundraising activities. Older children can coach and help younger peers. Junior leader’s qualifications are available from the Amateur Rowing Association.

Happy engaged children have a better chance of economic well-being.

A recent pilot study of 5 schools conducted by Indoor Sports Services successfully demonstrated that participation in indoor rowing reduced obesity from 30+% to single figures and improved SATs scores by double figures.


What we are able to offer

Indoor rowing workshops for small groups that teach coordinated action through rowing technique, promote participation in exercise, teamwork, and build confidence and competence through challenging oneself physically. This can either be offered at our base in Exeter or at your event.

Attendance at school events such as summer fete’s, after school clubs and holiday clubs where we are able to coordinate simple demonstrations or ‘Learn to row’ sessions, mini challenges and relays using race software and a screen to project results from the machines so everyone can be involved as the races happen!

Session plans and tuition for schools wishing to participate in the Schools Indoor Rowing League offered by Indoor Sports Services Indoor (

This service is offered by fully qualified and DBS checked staff who are trained in paediatric first aid.


Steven Redgrave on Indoor Rowing in Schools

Importance of Indoor Rowing in Schools