Rotherham receives boost to encourage more people to get moving

Published Monday, 1st June 2015
Maltby Leisure Centre
Maltby Leisure Centre pool

Hundreds of people in Rotherham are set to transform their lives thanks to a £500k* investment from National Lottery delivered by Sport England.

Rotherham Council is one of 16 schemes across the country to have been awarded the funding in a bid to encourage inactive people to get moving. In total, £5.4 million has been provided to the nationwide projects.

The Council was successful in its bid for the Active for Health research project, which will support inactive people with existing long-term conditions.

Rotherham's Advisory Cabinet Member with responsibility for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr David Roche, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Rotherham to explore the role that physical activity can play in helping people with long term conditions improve their health.

“We are aware of the potential benefits that physical activity can have on people’s health and wellbeing. This project aims to help people with a range of long term conditions to take part in regular activities and feel confident to lead an active lifestyle.”

Project Lead Rebecca Atchinson explained the scheme will include 12 week free physical activity sessions for people with specific conditions, to support them with their long-term conditions on leaving rehabilitation services, and to continue their recovery by being active.

The conditions included in the project are cancer, falls and fractures, Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disorder, cardiac, heart failure, back pain and stroke.

Rebecca added: “We are keen help people lead fulfilling healthy lives and to add years to life as well as life to years.

“The partnership between public health, health services and sport and leisure providers is an excellent development which will result in new opportunities for Rotherham residents.

“This research project will also help us to evaluate the role physical activity can play in long term condition management.

“We will be providing training on physical activity and condition management for health care professionals and sports coaches to improve the communication between the sectors.”

Research partner Sheffield Hallam University will evaluate the effectiveness of project including partnership working, long term physical activity levels and cost savings to the NHS, which will influence future plans.

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.”

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