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Olympic athletes pave way for fitter children

AN ONLINE diary designed for Olympic athletes is being used by primary schools to help children stay healthy and fit.

Teachers using the Health Passport can ask pupils to fill in a private online logbook with details of what they have eaten that week, what sport they did, how they felt or how they travelled to school. Results are collated by class, allowing a teacher to see what percentage of pupils has done what, without revealing personal details. Lessons can then be created based on the information collected.

The system was invented by Bram Van Asselt, an international hockey coach and director of Sport Plan, which provides online sports coaching.

He said: "Athletes training at Olympic level use a logbook to help their coach. They put in things such as what activities they are doing and whether they have any injuries. But mentors don't necessarily read everything and many athletes write up the logs on the way to training. An online system allows the coach to see when the logbooks are being filled in. It also collates the data, so a pattern can be seen emerging."

Official figures show 80 per cent of pupils spent two hours a week doing sport last year. The Govern-ment wants all children to do four hours a week by 2010.

Wayne Shingler, a partnership development manager for Siddal Moor sports college in Heywood, Lancashire, said: "The passport gets children actively involved. It will show a teacher that, for example, 75 per cent of Year 6 are doing two hours of sport in school a week and another hour in clubs."

* www.sportplan.nethp Health Passport costs a school pound;150 per year. Parental consent is needed. Parents can access their child's logbook

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