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Active Cumbria Statement: Combating obesity through sport and physical activity

February 5, 2014

Active Cumbria, the county’s sport and physical activity partnership, has used the publication of figures showing rates of obesity in Copeland to promote just some of the many opportunities available to people who want to get fit and active.

Active Cumbria works with a range of organisations to create more participation opportunities for children, young people and adults alike.

It has many innovative projects already in place and many more planned for the immediate future to provide opportunities for individuals to become more active.

As an example, Active Cumbria’s Copeland based leisure facility operator (North Country Leisure) last year secured a major lottery funding award to develop a 3 year programme to get more people engaged in sport and physical activity from 4 priority areas of Copeland.  To date, the throughput of participants on programme activities and events runs into the thousands.

For the last 3 years Active Cumbria has been co-ordinating 27 local sports projects in Copeland under the Sportivate programme.  This national lottery funded programme targets 11-25 year olds into new sporting activities.  To date, 851 teenagers and young adults have already taken part.  This year, the organisation plans to deliver a further 12 projects in Copeland alone targeting 171 more participants.

Copeland is also benefiting from Department of Health investment into the development of 31 Change 4 Life Sports Clubs on primary school sites, to encourage young people to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle.  Furthermore, as a result of Government investment every primary school now receives a School Sport Premium which can be deployed to improve the quality provision of PE and after school sport and physical activity for pupils aged 5-11 years.  This premium amounts to approximately £9,250 p.a. over a 3 year period to 2015/16.

Additional lottery funding will also see the creation and development of Community Satellite Sports Clubs on every secondary school across the authority.  These new clubs will target 11-25 year olds who currently are not taking part in sport and physical activity.

Bruce Lawson, Senior Manager (Development) said:

“There are significant societal challenges and issues linked to the obesity problem, and we will continue to take a proactive approach to work with a range of partner agencies to help address some of these issues. We are not alone as a county in this regard. These results present a similar picture across the whole country, and we will continue to try to support a shift in behaviour of individuals and communities to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.”

“The role of Active Cumbria as the county sport and physical activity partnership is focussed on increasing participation levels in sport and physical activity.”

“Although these figures relating to obesity levels are disappointing, we are seeing positive growth in participation rates in Copeland when we compare the results of the first Active People Survey in 2005 with the latest results released recently. In 2005 the percentage of the adult population aged 16 years and over in Copeland doing 3 bouts of 30 minutes sport and active recreation (3 x 30) was a figure of 19.46%, which was set against a national average at the time of 21.25%.”

“A similar picture can be seen for Cumbria as a whole, with 21.21% of the adult population doing 3 x 30 back in 2005, rising to 30.02% in recent times. This again, represents significant growth.”

For more information contact 01228 221363  / 07717320573