Since schools closed in March, most primary school pupils across Northern Ireland have been doing their school activities at home, but thanks to a partnership between one of Northern Ireland’s biggest retailers and Healthy Kidz means they don’t have to miss out on one of the highlights of the end of the year.

Henderson Group and their SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOXTRA brands have partnered with the successful activity programme to develop Virtual Sports Days, meaning thousands of pupils across the country can compete against their classmates through an app, safely at home.

Healthy Kidz is the physical activity programme provided to over 100 schools, aimed at increasing physical activity, fitness levels and general health of children across schools in Northern Ireland.

SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO & ViVOXTRA have been supporting Primary School Sports Days for over 10 years, each year donating almost 600 kits consisting of banners, number bibs, medals and ‘well done’ stickers to over 400 schools in Northern Ireland.

The Virtual Sports Day will take place on Saturday 13 June, with a full training programme kicking off from 11 May to teach participants their sports day activities. Sammy SPAR, the local mascot, will also take on training in a series of videos that will be shared across social during the training period.

Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group says that following the closure of schools in Northern Ireland it was even more important for the SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOXTRA brands to continue to support initiatives that keep children active; “Sports Day is an important tradition for schools, their pupils and their families to get together and celebrate the end of the school year whilst combining important physical exercise.

“Partnering with Healthy Kidz means we can continue our own tradition of supporting sports day through their virtual platform and giving children at home more to focus on and enjoy as the lockdown continues.”

Healthy Kidz Virtual Sports Day keeps the competitive spirit alive by allowing the children to record their results across five different activities, which are then compared with their friends’ scores to see who managed to get the best time or distance in each event.

Paul Carvill, Director of Coaching at Healthy Kidz also commented; “We have a choice of seven activities the kids can take on, from sprint to long jump and high jump, as well as the Egg and Spoon Race and a marathon challenge. We’ve also incorporated an obstacle course challenge to encourage even more creativity, and of course competitive spirit!

“We’re very grateful to have SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO and ViVOXTRA on board and for them to continue their support of Sports Days and the physical health of schoolchildren in Northern Ireland. They have donated vouchers which can be won by participants recording a 20-day streak of activity on the app, which can include sports day practice, sport, exercise, healthy eating or a wellbeing activity.”

All pupils who achieve a 20-day streak will be entered in to a prize draw unique to their school, receive a special acknowledgment from their School Principal, a shout out on their school’s social media and the class which has the most pupils achieve a streak, will be in with a chance to win a trip to W5.

Bronagh finished; “We’re very proud to support this initiative with our brands, and to help Healthy Kidz reach as many schools and pupils as possible. What our children need now is a sense of normality, and plenty to keep them engaged and occupied. We’re looking forward to seeing the results! Good luck to all our mini competitors!”

Schools can sign up via