Council backs plan to cut inactivity

A plan to increase the number of people taking part in sport and physical activity has been backed by Malvern Hills District Council.

Sport England has unveiled its new strategy which sets out how the organisation aims to cut the number of people who are physically inactive. Figures show about 28 per cent of people in England complete less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

The strategy also aims to increase the number of young people with a positive attitude to sport and being active and increase the number of adults using the outdoors for exercise and wellbeing.

Malvern Hills District Council is already playing its part to support the strategy through the Sportivate programme, which offers discounted activities for less active people aged between 11 and 25. It focuses on groups which are typically less active – such as the disabled and women – and encourages them to make a change in their lifestyle by taking part in six weeks of activity, before offering them a way to continue to take part in sport.

Last year 170 children and young people benefitted from the programme which is funded by the National Lottery and Sport England and delivered locally by the council’s leisure centre operator Freedom Leisure. Upcoming Sportivate sessions include trampolining at Chantry High School, MyRide cycling at Malvern Splash and cricket at Hanley Castle with Upton Cricket Club.

The council has also recently supported the This Worcs Girl Can campaign, run by Action for Children, to increase young girls’ participation in sport while a Unique Yoga Sportivate activity specifically aimed at those with disabilities has been successfully trialled and established in the area.

Promoting health and wellbeing is a key part of the council’s new five year plan. As part of that at least ten sport and health related activities will be provided in rural areas each year through the Sportivate programme, while there is also a focus on increasing the number of people using the district’s leisure centres

Cllr David Watkins, Portfolio Holder  for Healthier Communities on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this new strategy from Sport England. There’s evidence that shows physical inactivity can be as dangerous to health as smoking. That’s why we’ve put getting our residents more physically active at the heart of our five year plan and we’ll continue to do all we can to support and encourage people to lead healthier, more active lives.”

Anyone interested in any upcoming Sportivate sessions should call Jordan Cotton on 01684 862372 or email for more information.