Since 2011 the UK Government and Sport England have published reports and guidance on the physical and mental health benefits of regular physical activity, which are still the basis of current policy. The evidence to support the health benefits of regular physical activity for all groups has become more compelling. In children and young people, sport and regular physical activity are associated with improved learning and attainment, better mental health and cardiovascular fitness, also contributing to healthy weight status.
The primary documents are:
‘The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults’ - WHO, 2020
Benefits to the individual: in children and young people, regular sport and physical activity is associated with improved learning and attainment, better mental health and cardiovascular fitness, also contributing to healthy weight status.
Benefits to the state and public purse: Sport England evaluated the impact of a range of activities in 2017/18 bringing together evidence on the contribution of community sport and physical activity to the five outcomes identified in the Government’s strategy “Sporting Future”: these are physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development, and economic development. When measured against the £21.85Billion costs of engagement and providing sport and physical activity opportunities, for every £1 spent a return on investment of £3.91 was created for individuals and society in 2017/18. This measured return includes physical illness prevention such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, measurable benefits to mental health and depression prevention, alongside improved educational achievement.
A model that individuals can adopt to improve their personal wellbeing was recommended in the Foresight report on mental capital and wellbeing.
The ‘Five ways to wellbeing’ suggests that people:
There is a wealth of independent research which provides evidence of the benefits of sail training to mental health, resilience and self-confidence. In 2016 ASTO and Sail Training International (STI) commissioned The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) of the University of Central London (UCL) Institute of Education, and Giving Evidence, a consultancy and campaign promoting charitable giving based on sound evidence, to conduct a study of existing literature aiming to
'identify key short-term outcomes that, if changed by an intervention [with young people], have a beneficial impact on longer-term outcomes such as attendance and/or attainment in education, employability, and mental health’ -EPPI-Centre UCL Institute of Education & Giving Evidence, April 2016
Seas Your Future, since 2021, has been collecting its own data using pre-voyage and post-voyage questionnaires from young people who have sailed on Pelican voyages, in which they were asked about their levels of confidence to undertake nine social engagements and interactions, and their anxieties or concerns about undertaking nine physical and social activities. From these responses it can now be demonstrated from our own direct experience that after a sail training voyage self-confidence increases and anxieties and concerns reduce.
If you have been on one of our voyages and have not yet filled in the questionnaires, please may you do this now?
"He has told us lots about the experience and really did enjoy himself. I've also noticed that he hasn't worn his hoodie with the hood up since he arrived home. It was his default comfort position! So, from a parental point of view he seems a lot more confident in himself, he's more relaxed and he is less worried about making mistakes - less defensive. He can see that others make mistakes so it's not just him, and that's ok."
Our 2020 Development Plan outlines our aims and objectives for the next few years.
Crew and students share experiences with you on their Seas Your Future voyages with College Partners and Darwin200.