Get fit – and get ready for exams

ARE you looking for a great way to get ready for exams?

The answer could lie in sport, according to new research.

A study by the Youth Sport Trust and Sky Sports Living for Sport – a free initiative that uses sport to motivate and inspire young people – has shown that 79 per cent of children in the North-East think they study better after they have played sport.

But don’t just take the researchers word for it.

Olympic gold medal winning sprinter, Darren Campbell, agrees.

He said: “This research shows that sport helps children focus those grey cells, stay cool and calm – and get that ‘A’ grade.

“It is 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 79 per cent of teenagers in the North-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 63 per cent of kids across the region say taking a break to do sport also helps them concentrate on their revision immediately afterwards.

Darren, who was part of the UK 100m relay team which took gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is now a Sky Sports Living for Sport ambassador.

He 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.”

Two thirds of the respondents (64 per cent) in the North-East admitted that Facebook is a distraction when they should be concentrating on exam revision while 42 per cent say a constant flurry of text messages distracts them from the books.

Darren added: “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’.”