'Sports cages' designed by Cambs company are helping children stay active

The MUGA being used at Townley School, Christchurch

The pandemic inspired DEM Sports in Welney to invent the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) for primary schools. - Credit: DEM Sports

School children have been able to stay active and play ball games within their class “bubbles”, thanks to these sports cages designed by a Cambridgeshire company.

The pandemic inspired DEM Sports, based in Welney, to create a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), a specialist folding cage that can be fitted out for games like football, netball, dodgeball and tennis.

Townley School, in Christchurch, has been testing the kit and found it particularly useful in keeping class “bubbles” contained during outdoor activities.

Children at Townley Primary School playing inside the MUGA

Children at Townley Primary School in Christchurch playing inside the MUGA. - Credit: DEM Sports

Headteacher Maria Higgins said the equipment has been used every day since it was installed last October.

She said: “[It is used] not only for PE, breaktime, lunchtime and after school clubs, but also to allow us to have more than one class bubble outdoors at any one time...

“... [It] has been a great help to us keeping our children active."

MUGA at Townley Primary School in Christchurch

Townley Primary School in Christchurch says it has used its MUGA, designed by DEM Sports in Welney, every day since it was installed in October last year. - Credit: DEM Sports

DEM Sports specialises in producing cricket ground equipment for clubs, universities and schools.

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It claims to be the original manufacturer of foldaway cricket nets which are often used in sports halls and training areas.

The company also produces more heavy-duty sports cages and was asked to design and manufacture practice cages for the 2019 Cricket World Cup at Lords.

They are also suitable for other sports such as baseball and golf.

The MUGA folded back when not in use

The MUGA, designed by DEM Sports in Welney, can be folded back when it isn't being used. - Credit: DEM Sports

John Loveday, the company’s managing director, said: "We’ve been producing a range of cages for use in schools for a number of years.

“We’d been thinking about how to help primary school-age children keep fit and active during the current pandemic. So we designed this wonderful piece of kit.”

The MUGA has also been endorsed by the county council.

Children at Townley School in Christchurch playing inside the MUGA

The MUGA cage, produced by DEM Sports in Welney, can be used for PE, ball games and for playtimes. - Credit: DEM Sports

Ian Roberts, who looks after PE and school sports for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: "The possibilities are limitless with how schools could use [the MUGA].

“It is becoming more and more important to engage all pupils in regular physical activity, and the deployment of active zones within the school space is a very powerful tool to help make this happen.

“This could be considered a valid, and sustainable use of the PE and School Sport Premium to make an important difference to young people”.

For more information, visit the DEM Sports website.