Former Lioness Jill Scott urges kids to get moving as part of FA's Greater Game initiative

Jill Scott says since her retirement in 2022, she has struggled with fitting keeping active into her busy life. Credit: ITV News

Former Lioness Jill Scott has backed an FA initiative urging young people to get moving and stay active.

The Greater Game is a programme aimed at boosting overall health and wellbeing through football.

Targeting children between 12 and 16, the scheme focuses on the principles of Moving Well, Eating Well, Sleeping Well and Thinking Well to ensure young people lead happier, healthier lives.

A pilot of the scheme was run in parts of the North East and is now set to be rolled out across the country.

Jill Scott, who is from Sunderland, said: "They're very basic things - do we move enough? do we sleep enough? I think now, there's a lot of screen time and stuff like that but we really need kids to stay active."

Jill Scott retired in 2022 after helping England win the Euros. Credit: PA

A survey conducted by the FA found that 95 per cent of young people did not achieve the recommended sixty minutes of daily exercise.

Scott admits that since hanging up her boots in 2022, life has got in the way of getting active.

"Since I've retired I've struggled to keep fit because suddenly you get busy, life takes over," she explained. "I think I'm understanding it a little bit more. I was like, 'why don't people stay fit and stay healthy?'

"I think you really need to make a purposeful effort to put it into your day and that's why this programme will educate parents as well.

"I think one of the stats that was worrying for me was that over a third of 12-16 year olds don't feel the need to exercise and that's worrying because then that has an effect on mental health as well as physical health.

"I think sport helps with that so much. If kids are going to new clubs, new football clubs and they can make friends, that really helps in giving them another focus. Social media can be good for some stuff, but too much of it then you kind of enter this negativity that you don't want to be in - especially for young children."

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