‘Your Back Yard’ have just been awarded a grant from Sport England to deliver a programme of activities for the over 50’s in LS 6 or, more specifically, Hyde Park, Burley and Little Woodhouse.
Tackling inactivity is becoming an increasingly bigger part of what we do, partly because, as recent research from Public Health England (PHE) tells us, more people die a premature death now from inactivity as they do from smoking, and partly because if we can get more activity into a park setting, that helps our beleaguered parks too.
And according to the Government ‘New strategy for an active nation’, (2015, pre Brexit, when the government had time to do strategies!) activity rates are significantly lower than the national average amongst those with disabilities, those in lower socio economic groups and women.
The Government has also estimated the benefits of activity to be £39bn (although to be quite honest, I’d like to see some workings out on this one).
Whatever the exact figures, let’s do what we can to provide more accessible, enjoyable, healthy opportunities for people, particularly those from ‘inactive’ groups, to participate in sport.
From the research we did focussed on the over 55’s, researching more than 250 people in Leeds and Newcastle to underpin the need for this project, the most sought after activities, by some distance, were guided walks, tai chi, yoga and zumba. Therefore, as part of the programme of activity we will be putting on all these activities, in addition to a programme of walking football which is proving hugely popular across Leeds.
I think the biggest challenge is going to be letting out target audience know what is going on, so if you have any ideas as to how to reach them, let us know!
And, as regular readers (you both know who you are) will know, we are, in partnership with the Cardigan Centre, putting what are hopefully the finishing touches to a lottery bid which if successful will fund a 3 year programme of healthy activity across this area, http://www.yourbackyard.org.uk/1028-2/ aimed at reducing the incidence of long term illness. So, hopefully the Sport England fnding will be the start of the process of making this part of Leeds a truly healthy living suburb!