MORE children in Dudley met the recommended level of activity last year than they did before the pandemic, new figures show.

Figures from Sport England's annual survey in schools across the country reveal 52 per cent of Dudley children were classed as active – doing an hour or more of activity per day – in the 2021-22 academic year.

It was up from 46 per cent the year before, when Covid-19 restrictions heavily impacted children's sports and activities, and down slightly from 54 per cent in the pre-pandemic 2017-18 academic year.

Of the 1,101 children who responded to last year's survey, 20 per cent were classed as fairly active meaning they did 30-60 minutes of activity per day; 28 per cent did less than half an hour.

The survey also showed 28 per cent of Dudley children surveyed had volunteered to support sports and activities by being a sports leader, coaching, stewarding and refereeing.

Nationally, 3.4 million children (47 per cent) were classed as active, meaning levels of activity overall had recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The survey found 219,000 more children were now active compared to the 2020-21 academic year (45 per cent).

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England chief executive, said: “This overall growth is positive but there’s more to do to help children and young people from all backgrounds enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity."

The survey also found children from less affluent families were 10 per cent less likely to be active than those from more affluent families.

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: "It is very encouraging to see a surge of children and young people returning to enjoy the benefits of physical activity since the pandemic. But I am clear that more still needs to be done."

Mr Andrews added that £230 million will be invested in grassroots facilities and developing a new sports strategy.