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Train like a Jedi you must, says Mark Hamill


Change4Life offers curriculum-linked resources and inspiration to help educators teach children about healthy eating and being active. The organisation is dedicated to providing quality resources and classroom ideas. As the site develops, Change4Life will also provide support on food preparation and cooking, where food comes from, plus great ideas for PE lessons.

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To inspire greater physical activity in pupils, Public Health England (PHE) and Disney UK have launched Train Like A Jedi. This nationwide Change4Life programme sees the excitement of Star Wars - alongside Double Olympic Gold medallist Jade Jones - to encourage children to get their daily minimum of 60 minutes’ moderate to vigorous physical activity.

A new survey from PHE and Disney found that over 4 in 5 children (82%) would be inspired to move more if they saw their favourite characters being active. With Star Wars characters ranking as key favourites amongst UK children aged 7-11, the programme aims to make physical activity fun and inspire children to move more.

It is recommended that children do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day, yet just 23% of boys and 20% of girls aged 5 to 15 years currently meet this recommendation.

Taking inspiration from the traits of iconic Jedi such as Luke and Rey, Train like A Jedi helps children learn and master six key skills - technique, strength, stamina, speed, agility and mastery. The sequence of moves has been specially designed to increase children’s heart rates and benefit health.

Young padawans at Melbury Primary School

“If you want to become a Jedi like Luke Skywalker or Rey, then you need to be fit, healthy and strong,” explains Mark Hamill. “Change4Life can help you Train Like A Jedi. May the Force be with you.”

In the same way that mentorship plays a pivotal role for Jedi, schools have a major influence on children’s physical activity levels. Change4Life is providing schools with curriculum-linked teaching resources, including a Train Like A Jedi training video, to encourage their pupils to learn the Jedi inspired moves. Also provided is a whole-school assembly and activity ideas to get pupils moving, both in and out of class. The activities can be used during drop off or pick up times, or at a school sports day.

PE lesson plans are also available to help pupils step up their Jedi training and hone their skills. Schools can also get pupils moving outside of the classroom by adding a twist to their favourite playground games with a new set of Star Wars inspired playground challenges.

The Train Like A Jedi video and school activities are designed for children to play along anywhere – either in groups, with their friends, family, or by themselves – and will help children meet the daily recommended physical activity guidelines they need for healthy development and to maintain a healthy weight. The Train Like A Jedi activity can be done in 10 minute bursts throughout the school day or at home.

Marianthi O’Dwyer, vice president of Healthy Living at Disney UK, says: “Using Star Wars characters and storytelling, we can help encourage children to be active by making it fun. With the huge popularity of Star Wars amongst UK kids aged 7 to 11, we believe this campaign will encourage children to get out and move like Jedi! This is another great example of Disney’s healthy living commitment in action, where we use Disney’s characters to encourage families and children to be more active together.”

Building a new generation of Resistance recruits, British taekwondo athlete and double Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones, alongside a special appearance from BB-8, leads children through a series of Jedi inspired moves in an exciting new play-along video. Jade comments:

“Inspiring kids to get active is something I’m really passionate about, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to help kids across the country with Change4Life and Star Wars.

Jade and BB-8 enjoy a training session

“It was great fun to create the Jedi-inspired moves which can be done anytime and anywhere - both at school and home. I hope that through this new programme we can inspire a new generation to move more by showing kids that physical activity can be really fun.”

To show your pupils the full Jedi experience, visit May the Force be with you!

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