Sainsbury’s is to launch a voucher-collection scheme for school sports equipment and activities as part of a wider programme encouraging children to take more exercise and to eat more healthily.
The initiative is part of chief executive Justin King’s new long-term strategy for the supermarket, which says it will spend &£20m on the programme in 2005 alone. It will also include the development of a Government-backed sports coaching scheme in conjunction with Sport England and the Youth Sports Trust.
The Active Kids voucher scheme is the first strand of the initiative and will be backed by television, print and radio advertising – possibly featuring sport stars and other celebrities – a website and Nectar mailings.
From March 2, Sainsbury’s customers will earn a voucher for every &£10 spent in store and online through Sainsbury’s To You. To encourage healthy eating, an extra voucher will be awarded for every &£5 spent on fruit and vegetables. Vouchers can be donated to any school participating in the scheme and can be redeemed for sports equipment as well as activities and coaching for primary school teachers that goes beyond traditional PE lessons. It is not the first time Sainsbury’s has conducted such a scheme: the supermarket axed an equipment for schools programme in 2002, following a fall-off in interest. This time, instead of using receipts as a collection method, it is distributing vouchers – a system rival Tesco uses for its Computers for Schools scheme, which has been running since 1992.