The World Championship gold medallist and former World Junior Champion is working with a Doncaster-based app developed by four teachers turned entrepreneurs. The former teachers have launched myphizz to combat sedentary behaviour, exacerbated by lockdown restrictions and the closure of schools.
Mr Gemili said: “The mental and physical wellbeing of children has never been more crucial. With lockdown restrictions having a negative impact on activity levels, many children are now sadly not meeting the recommended level of exercise.”
Physical activity among pupils fell dramatically during the pandemic with more than 31 per cent of children undertaking less than 30 minutes of exercise a day, according to research by Sport England.
Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of Sport England, said: “The figures clearly demonstrate how important it will be to open facilities and encourage the return to play as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
myphizz, which is launching in schools nationwide from July 2021, was designed and developed by four friends and qualified teachers - Anthony McBride, Steve Howse, Mike Brennan and
Mark McBride. It provides schools and teachers with the tools they need to engage students in an active curriculum and supports Ofsted’s recommendations that children should engage in exercise for an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week.
Mr Gemili said: “myphizz gives children autonomy and empowers them to manage their own levels of physical activity through choosing exactly the types of exercise they enjoy. Whether they’re completely new to physical activity and enjoy inventing their own fun and wacky physical challenges or they’re an aspiring athlete - myphizz is an inclusive and fun tool that connects like-minded kids and allows them to find friends with shared interests.”
The new app is available to download from the Apple App Store, Google Play and can be accessed as a web-based application on PCs, mobiles and tablets.
Mr McBride, a founder and director of myphizz, said: “Working with tech developers, educational experts and sporting icons, we’ve developed a platform which means schools can raise the quality and frequency of physical activity in a sustainable way. Unlike other apps, myphizz users formulate their own activities and challenges, which can range from a 100m sprint time to completing as many star jumps as possible in 15 seconds.”
The app undertook numerous trials in schools earlier this year.
Siobhan Roe, teacher at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Halifax, said: “myphizz has been a huge hit amongst our year three pupils - there’s been such a buzz in the classroom with every single pupil involved in creating, sharing and accomplishing activities. The children have rushed home to tell their parents all about their ‘phizzes’ and we can’t wait to see the rest of the school enjoy it. The platform is so easy to use and I’ve found the images to describe the ‘phizzes’ really useful as it helps a lot of the children with their reading and spellings as they compare words and pictures.
“The mix of activities that can be set is incredible - we’ve used myphizz for practicing our times tables as well as challenging each other to do as many press-ups as possible! myphizz has opened up a world of fun activity and movements for our children.”