Last week at the Scottish Parliament, Christina McKelvie MSP (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse,) joined Ellie Simmonds OBE, who has won four Paralympic gold medals, in support of Active Kids 2016.

Ellie talked about the benefits the Active Kids scheme brings to Scotland and how over the last 11 years it has encouraged children to lead healthier and more active lives. There are 2,250 registered organisations in Scotland, which include schools and nurseries, sports clubs, the Scouts and Girlguiding.

Active Kids launched in 2005 to help inspire school children to get more involved in physical activity. The programme has grown and expanded to include healthy eating and cooking equipment available from the voucher collection scheme.  There is also a range of free Cooking and Nutrition Toolkits – endorsed by the British Nutrition Foundation - available to teachers to help children learn about a balanced diet.

In Scotland alone, over £4million worth of equipment and experiences have been donated to local schools, sports clubs and organisations since 2005.

Christina said:


“Our children’s wellbeing is incredibly important and the Active Kids scheme provides fantastic opportunities to ensure they’re able to exercise and eat healthily. It’s great to see the benefits the scheme has had across Scotland and I look forward to seeing the success of the scheme this year.”

The scheme also focuses on calories in and calories out, teaching children good healthy eating behaviours. This year, the Taste Buddies Challenge has been introduced to help parents try new foods with their children. Children who enjoy a wider variety of foods are more likely to enjoy a healthy balanced diet and be ‘better eaters’. The challenge will encourage children across the UK to broaden their diets by trying a wider variety of foods by going on a flavour-inspired tasting adventure.

Using research to find out key food groups that children typically struggle with, Sainsbury’s has identified five gateway foods, using the five key taste areas, which will help parents introduce their children to these tricky food types. We found that over 50% of children are more likely to try new foods when they help cook it themselves. Helpful toolkits including exclusive recipes for each of the gateway foods for parents to cook and try at home with their kids, have been created and are available on the Active Kids website.

Ellie Simmonds has been an Active Kids Ambassador for six years, she added:


“As an Active Kids Ambassador, I’ve been able to see first-hand how the scheme has helped children all over the UK. It’s been great to visit Scotland and meet the pupils from Blackhall Primary School. This year’s scheme is even bigger and better and schools can sign up to the Paralympic Challenge, which I’m really looking forward to supporting.

“Eating a balanced diet is just as important as exercising. I love experimenting with food and it’s great to see that Active Kids is encouraging this as part of the scheme.”

The Paralympic Challenge, is a new initiative to get 2.5 million young people to learn more about Paralympic sports and try them out ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. By taking part, schools can receive free equipment, online resources and the opportunity to win money to buy prizes, including a trip to Rio. Schools can register

For more information on the Active Kids scheme, this year’s Paralympic Challenge and the Taste Buddies Challenge please visit

Notes to Editors

Founded in 1869, Sainsbury’s today operates over 1,200 stores, employing around 161,000 colleagues across the UK. With 24 million customer transactions every week, the company’s focus is on delivering high quality, affordable food, clothing and general merchandise across supermarkets, convenience stores and online. Sainsbury’s Bank offers accessible financial products that reward customers who both bank and shop with Sainsbury’s. Strong, well-established values are integral to Sainsbury’s success in helping customers Live Well for Less


Active Kids

Active Kids is designed to inspire and enable children to take more exercise and to eat healthily.  Launched in 2005, the voucher collection scheme is open to all nursery, primary and secondary schools, as well as Scouts, Girlguiding groups and sports clubs in the UK.  Since it launched, over £160 million worth of equipment and experiences have been donated to registered schools, clubs and organisations.  The programme continues to evolve and reflect changes to the curriculum, with developments such as additional cooking equipment and toolkits introduced to support this new emphasis in the classroom.

Taste Buddies Challenge

For more information about the Taste Buddies Challenge, please speak to Rebecca Jones on 020 7695 7101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Paralympic Challenge

The new initiativehas been created to get more young people involved in inclusive sport and to raise awareness of Paralympic sport ahead of the Rio 2016 Games.

Sainsbury’s, British Paralympic Association and Youth Sport Trust have teamed up to create a free web based resource to inspire schools and young people to learn more about Paralympic sports, try them out and win exclusive high profile prizes for taking part.

The Active Kids Paralympic Challenge gets young people involved in the build-up to Rio 2016 by learning and taking part in four Paralympic sports: Athletics, Boccia, Goalball and Sitting Volleyball. When schools then log their activities on the website, they can win prizes.

The time schools invest meeting the challenges can be converted into kilometres travelled on the Get Set Road to Rio app. The school travelling the furthest can win the chance to travel to Rio and support ParalympicsGB next year.

The challenges have been developed to maximise learning outcomes in relation to the national curriculum programme of study, targeting Key Stage 1-3, and will support the objectives of the Government’s Primary PE and Sport Premium.

For more information please visit: