Moki Magic during the holidays!

Guernsey has a well-established, busy programme of Holiday clubs and summer camps. They provide invaluable opportunities for pupils (and parents) during holiday periods. They have a number of intended benefits including a growth in children’s confidence and self-esteem, improved social skills and trying new activities. Holidays shoud be a time for lots of fun and games and being active. That is certainly an aim for the holiday clubs organised by Guernsey athletics and the Guernsey Sports Commission ‘On your marks ‘programme. 

The Health Improvement Commission is in the process of holding ‘Moki’ trials in our primary schools. Moki’s are a wearable physical activity tracker specifically designed for use with school children and help to find out more about the activity levels of pupils. We decided to trial the Mokis at the two holiday schemes. 

Over 100 children wore Mokis in the mornings of the week after Easter. The results measure any physical activity that involves moving around more rapidly – that raises heart rate and makes children breathe faster (basically activity that gets children out of breath.). 

Alun Williams, the Be Active Lead at the Health Improvement Commission oversaw the Moki Trial and summarises the key findings:

 'The results from Guernsey Athletics holiday Camp and the on your marks scheme are impressive and demonstrate that the schemes offered high levels of moderate to vigorous activity. The schemes results were similar. Children averaged 42 minutes of activity over the three-hour sessions. Once we factor in breaks and instruction time that is a lot of time spent being vigorously active. 

By comparison, the UK Government guidelines recommend that children should get 30 minutes of daily MVPA in school.

It is also interesting to see that for both schemes the levels were consistent every day and spread evenly during the day. 

Tom Druce Guernsey Athletics Development Officer said:

 “Being provided with this feedback thanks to the Guernsey Health Improvement Commission is very valuable for us as it means we can be confident that we are achieving our aim of delivering appropriate levels of physical activity to the youngsters. The positive results for girls are particularly pleasing to see.”

A particular feature that we are seeing in the early days of the primary school Moki trials is that the girls’ levels of activity are not dropping off compared to the boys. We measured the boys and girls levels of activity at the guernsey Athletics sessions and we found that girls were recording higher levels of MVPA. 

Faith Huges (pictured) who attended the Athletics holiday camp said:

'I love going to the athletics sessions in the holidays because they are fun and healthy. I also like being able to make new friends when I go. We do lots of different activities like long jump and fun games. My favourite at Easter was probably the turbo javelin because it taught me about throwing technique.'

Nicky Will from the Guernsey Sports Commission said:

‘Our On Your Marks holiday programme is really popular and the children love coming along and taking part in all the different sports and activities we offer. It was great to discover just how active they are being as we know the positive impact this can have on their health and wellbeing.’