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Sporting Chance Help Learners to Get Up and Go with New Disney Healthy Happy Play programme

sc-logo-2016-0417 August 2016, KwaZulu Natal; Sporting Chance and Disney Africa announced today that they have launched the Disney Healthy Happy Play programme in South Africa. In an effort to empower more schools to embed physical education into their curricula, the programme provides fun and creative tools for educators and students using Disney characters and stories as inspiration.

Disney Healthy Happy Play will reach 30 schools and 15 000 learners in four provinces in the coming months, having kicked off in the Western Cape schools in early August. The programme will also be rolled out in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.

Focusing on exercise and nutrition, the programme is being implemented by leading sports coaching and development organisation Sporting Chance, with material developed in collaboration with the Sports Science Institute of South Africa and the Department of Basic Education.

Quoting the latest Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) Report, Sporting Chance’s general manager Natalie Pollock comments: “Physical education (PE) was dropped as a stand alone subject from the South African public school curriculum in 1994 and only reinstated recently as part of the Life Orientation subject. The introduction of a National Sport and Recreation Plan has led to improvements in PE and nutrition but, overall, we are not doing nearly enough to help children eat better and exercise more”.

Pollock continues “The challenge in turning the tide is most acute in under-resourced schools, which lack expertise, equipment, facilities and often the will to introduce and sustain exercise and good nutrition among their learners”.

Quoting a HAKSA finding that less than a third of schools from disadvantaged communities have regularly scheduled PE, Pollock says: “The Disney Happy Healthy Play programme supports schools to properly integrate PE into the curriculum by providing them with training and equipment and, most importantly, by monitoring their progress and providing mentorship. We are proud to be collaborating with Disney, whose engaging and imaginative content really brings the program, its engagement and interactivity to life”.

Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa comments: “We are thrilled to be working with Sporting Chance to add elements of fun and creativity to this innovative and sustainable programme, using our Disney characters and stories as inspiration to get kids active. We hope that Disney Happy Healthy Play will not only be a positive and exciting experience for teachers and students, but will also encourage them to take these learnings and apply them in their everyday family lives.”

Since 2006, Disney has been committed to helping families make healthier choices, using its stories and characters to make healthy living simple and fun. This includes introducing robust nutritional guidelines and offering content that positively focuses on healthier lifestyles such as Disney Healthy Living Website (, Aim High on Disney XD (2011 – 2014), 2014’s Disney XD Super Skills Challenge (in association with Super Sport’s Let’s Play and the Dept. of Education) and the recently announced Disney Cookabout, which will premiere on SABC 2 August 5, 2016.

The Disney Happy Healthy Play programme consists of three components:


  • An Edu Module, brought to life with iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald and Goofy, for Grade Three teachers and learners. The colourful, exciting workbooks focus on the importance of physical activity, how to participate in sport and play, and their subsequent positive effects. Included in the module is a focus on balanced eating and nutrition. Teachers are supplied with these workbooks and lesson plans, and learners with worksheets
  • Music-filled, fun morning assemblies at the various schools, in which the importance of physical activity is communicated in a lively and entertaining format to teachers and learners covering grades two to six
  • A physical education and sports challenge for teachers and learners in grades three to five. This aims to create excitement around being physically active with a focus on quality sports coaching and getting learners to play in a structured environment. It includes demonstrations of exercises and drills followed by mini games and matches in various types of sport. Schools receive Disney-themed physical education workbooks containing exercises and drills, and leave-behind sports kit to enable them to take the programme forward

Schools will receive continued support through a mentoring and monitoring system. Regular assessments of progress in implementing the programme will also be made. A database of the schools and educators will also be developed to create a network for sharing skills and ongoing development.

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