Champs not chumps: Blackley schoolkids design card game to fight childhood obesity

A new card game has been designed to encourage children to become more active in their daily life.

Pupils from Pike Ford Primary School in Blackley have helped to inspire Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to create a game called the CHAMP Trumps Card.

The game is based on using food-themed characters that have been inspired by the children to encourage them to exercise more frequently.

CHAMP Trumps card is part of an initiative called the Reducing Childhood Obesity Manchester (RCOM) Programme which is working together with its partners to tackle child obesity in the city.

Sarah Vince-Cain, Clinical Programme manager for RCOM, told MM: “Research tells us parents and carers are unlikely to recognise that their own children are overweight and we know awareness is a key factor in the cycle of change.

“A vast proportion of parents weren’t aware their children were measured in school so we decided that the CHAMP Trumps card game would be a fun incentive for parents to log on and help children engage with health and the physiological impact of food.

“Our aim is to support parents and families in Manchester and help them achieve a balanced diet and lead healthy lifestyles. We hope that our CHAMP Trumps card game will be a fun and easy way for children and their families to learn more about food and its impact on health.

“Evidence tells us that parents, and even health professionals, don’t fare too well in recognising if children are overweight, so we developed the CHAMP website to keep abreast of their children’s weight online.

“The broad range of partners involved with RCOM has brought expertise round the table and understand where services are needed more across the city.”

TALENTED YOUTH: Clinical Programme Manager Sarah Vince-Cain (R), Ben Green from The University of Manchester, Vikkey Draycott, Assistant Head, Pike Fold Primary School with pupils showing their winning designs:  (L to R) Ocean Garner (aged 8), Evanric Dean Lapore (aged 10), Amy Stewart (aged 10), Joshua Manjra (aged 9) and Wiktoria Adamczyk (aged 8)     

The project asked for primary school children across Manchester to send in entries for characters that could be implemented into the game.

The standard of ideas that were sent in were of a very high standard and the organisers found it tough but decided on using Pike Fold School’s efforts for CHAMP Trumps.

Illustrators were then employed to fit the colourful characters onto the cards, and ASDA kindly agreed to sponsor the printing of the cards, which are set to be distributed around Primary Schools around Manchester.

The CHAMP Trumps card game has selected five physiological functions and look at the nutrient levels of particular foods in relation to them. The five functions are heart health, bone health, digestive health, teeth and the immune system. 

HEALTH FIRST: Public Health England have recently announced that one third of primary school leavers in the UK are overweight or obese

Children will be given cards with certain foods on them, and then will play each other.  Depending on the function they are discussing, the player with the healthiest card will collect the cards from the other children.

The game aims to highlight the benefits of eating healthier food and promoting children to discuss this when they are playing it. 

The exact date that the game will be available has not been disclosed yet, but it will be around mid-October. CHAMP will be measuring the results from then until February.

In order to play the game, parents from Manchester primary school pupils can visit the CHAMP website where it will ask for their child’s weight and age details.  Once completed, they will be able to download an E-Voucher which can then be exchanged for the CHAMP Trumps game at their school.

RCOM is led by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and also works with The University of Manchester, Manchester City Council and City in the Community (Manchester City Football Club’s Foundation).  City and the Community have donated prizes for the game. 

The initiative is working hard to improve the social issue in which the Public Health England have recently announced that one third of primary school leavers in the UK are overweight or obese.

Despite the lack of time spent outside by children, there has been a recent study conducted by Play-Doh which has concluded that nine out of ten kids enjoy building or making things from raw materials.

The same research has shown that children are only spending eight hours a week outside compared to the 20 hours that their Grandparents spent at the same age.

GET OUTSIDE! Rather than gobble sweets, the game hopes to encourage kids to spend more time playing outdoors: research shows children are only outside eight hours a week compared to the 20 hours by their grandparents at the same age

The study also indicates that parents are also as likely to play football or draw pictures with their children as much as their grandparents did 60 years ago.

The research, which involved 500 children, was conducted in preparation for yesterday’s opening of the Imaginarium at London’s Science Museum.

Ex Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, who was at the launch day, said: “UK kids are more creative than ever.

“They’re venturing beyond the world of sticky-back plastic and finding diverse and amazing ways to express themselves, whether that’s through technology, through arts and crafts or through storytelling.”

MORE CREATIVE THAN EVER: UK schoolkids are earning recognition for their inventive talents

The Champs website is

Related Articles