Sports programmes receive boost to encourage more people to get moving

Posted: Thu, 28 May 2015 08:23

New Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch has welcomed £5.4 million National Lottery investment by Sport England in 16 programmes to tackle inactivity.

Tens of thousands of people including over 65s, those with type 2 diabetes and people with drug and alcohol problems will be able to transform their lives thanks to a £5.4 million investment in a series of sports programmes.

16 schemes across the country have been awarded National Lottery funding from Sport England in a bid to encourage inactive people to get moving.

To coincide with the announcement, new Sports Minster Tracey Crouch will visit the Active Norfolk county sports partnership in Norwich today to see how their new project, Mobile Me, will benefit from the investment.

This scheme, which is designed to make it easier for inactive older people living in sheltered housing or residential care homes to start being more physically active, follows an earlier project called Fun and Fit, aimed at younger adults.

Mobile Me will be made up of a series of 12-week sessions in communal spaces in the older people's housing or homes. Bowls, table tennis and Tai Chi will be on offer, while community volunteers will be recruited and trained to keep the project going.

Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said:

"What's great about these projects is the fact that they are giving people opportunities to get moving in ways that suit them.''

"It's so important people are active at every stage of their life, not just in terms of fitness, but it's also key to maintaining a healthy body and mind, as well as ensuring good quality of life."

Evidence shows that if adults are physically active, it helps to prevent or manage more than 20 chronic health conditions including heart disease, cancer and dementia. Inactivity also costs the economy £7.4billion a year and contributes to one in six deaths – the same proportion as smoking. 28% of people in England, approximately 12.5 million, are currently inactive.

Sport England Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper, said:

''Physical activity plays a powerful role in improving people's health. The evidence is absolutely clear on this. But it also has a wider impact.

"We want to highlight the positive and valuable contribution that sport can make to people's health and well-being but also the economy.

"These programmes will do exactly that. By putting prevention at the forefront of their work, they will help to reduce the risk of inactive people developing serious health problems and in doing so, save taxpayer's money. That is the power of sport in action."

Other projects include:

  • Bexley Get Healthy Get Active – by targeting inactive adults most at risk of diabetes in the five most deprived wards in the borough, this project will support people to play sport. People who understand how to manage their own diabetes by using physical activity will be recruited to help others.
  • Challenge Through Sport – a Lancashire-based project using sport to help people with drug and alcohol problems recover more quickly.
  • Sport in Mind – working in Berkshire, this project will give people with mental health problems support to start playing sport. By providing safe and structured sessions, the project will remove barriers to playing sport and help improve people's psychological, physical and social wellbeing. Sessions will be held in a range of venues from psychiatric hospitals to leisure facilities in the community.

Physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK.

Tags: Physical Activity, Sport England