Playing sport helps exam focus - South East survey

Parents who are thinking of keeping their children indoors ahead of the exam season should think again, according to research from the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free initiative that uses sport to motivate and inspire young people.

Most children in the South East (84 per cent) believe that playing sport to relax is likely to help them concentrate when it’s time to revise, and this will boost their chances of exam success.

Olympic gold medal winning sprinter, Darren Campbell, agrees with the findings.

He said: “This research shows that sport helps children focus those grey cells, stay cool and calm - and get that ‘A’ grade! It’s not only about getting fit and striving to succeed in your chosen field, sport also brings huge mental and emotional benefits.

“In the exam season, it’s all about getting some balance. If kids aren’t revising, then one of the best things for them to be doing is kicking a ball around, or running around outside getting some exercise.”

 The Sky Sports Living for Sport research, in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, canvassed the views of 800 fourteen and fifteen year olds studying for their GCSE and mock exams.

It found that 84 per cent of teenagers in the South East said that using sport to relax as part of their revision regime is likely to help them concentrate and improve their chances of exam success.

And almost half (47 per cent) per cent of kids across the region say taking a break to do sport is likely to help them concentrate on their revision immediately afterwards.

Mr Campbell, who is now a Sky Sports Living for Sport ambassador, added: “Whether it’s getting those endorphins going to boost mood and self-esteem, making new friends on the football field or finding the confidence to speak up in class, I’ve seen first-hand just how powerful an influence sport can be in young people’s lives.”

Three quarters (67 per cent) of the respondents the South East admitted that a social networking website was a distraction when they should be concentrating on exam revision a quarter (26 per cent) find the temptation of computer games distracts them from their books.

Mr Campbell said: “The distractions of computers, TV and mobile phones are another reason to encourage youngsters to get out and get some exercise.

“If they can really focus on their books, and reward themselves with some sport, they’ll be much more relaxed when it comes to the actual exams. Teenagers do get very stressed in the run up to exams. In our survey, around twice as many described themselves as ‘really stressed out’, as those claiming to be ‘completely chilled out’.”

Darren Campbell wanted to encourage pupils to get some exercise as part of their revision plan.

He added: “They’ll concentrate better when they are at their books, and when they feel more relaxed they’ll perform better.”