South Gloucestershire has one of the lowest instances of inactivity in the country, according to a recent report.
The ‘turning the tide of inactivity’ report, published by UK active, ranks South Gloucestershire as 14th out of 150 authorities around the UK, with 59 per cent of residents participating in sport and active recreation weekly and an inactivity figure of just 23 per cent. These results place us as the best performing authority in the South West. Further evidence that South Gloucestershire is a great place to live and work.
We encourage active lifestyles by developing collaborative programmes which bridge different leisure activities and appeal to all ages. The Rugby League World Cup for example, maximised its impact across a diverse audience by linking culture, art, heritage, sport, dance and education. This approach is mirrored in the South Gloucestershire Active Card which brings together health, libraries, arts and leisure, and with programmes developed to ensure there are activities catering for all age ranges.
There are also many active travel initiatives in South Gloucestershire, including improved cycle facilities all over the district and the promotion of green travel to work and school. We also incorporate safe cycling and walking routes in to our new neighbourhoods at the planning stage.
In the local community there are large numbers of highly motivated volunteers organising an increasing range of sports and recreational events. One example of this is the parkrun phenomenon which sees over two hundred runners attend the Little Stoke parkrun each week. Due to high demand, three new parkruns (Pomphrey Hill, Chipping Sodbury and Little Stoke Juniors) are being launched this spring. South Gloucestershire Council recently won a Run England ‘Project of the Year’ award for the South West in recognition of our work with volunteers to establish running groups.
Chair of the Communities Committee Cllr Claire Young said: “Our success in reducing levels of inactivity is primarily due to the coordinated approach by the council and our partners to ensure the best possible provision across the community. We also encourage sustainable methods of transport, and we organise a large number of healthy activities for residents of all ages. We are also lucky that South Gloucestershire has such beautiful green spaces and countryside where residents can easily enjoy walking and other healthy outdoor activities.”
Dr Mark Pietroni, Director of Public Health for South Gloucestershire, said: “It is pleasing that South Gloucestershire ranks amongst the top 15 authorities in England which reflects all of the good work that takes place between the council and our partners. We know that increasing people’s physical activity levels is one of the ‘best buys’ in public health, with exercise just as potent as some drugs in tackling major diseases. This is why building physical activity into our everyday lives has been identified as a key action within our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.”
Circadian Trust are a registered charity and social enterprise. They work in partnership with us to operate the five leisure centres in South Gloucestershire and three dual use sites that are based on school campuses.
Ben Beasley, Director of Commercial Development at Circadian Trust, said: “Since 2007 we are pleased that attendances in the centres has increased from 1.8 to 2.2 million per annum. We strive to maintain a vibrant and ever evolving programme of activity to attract and inspire local residents and groups into the centres. Our policy on pricing and offering concessionary rates to those most in need helps promote sport and physical activity for all without barriers. In addition to our core programme we offer an exciting variety of community intervention strategies through our partnership work. Play on prescription, exercise on prescription and LifeShape are just three of these popular and rewarding schemes.”
We coordinate a series of free activities for all the family to help residents of South Gloucestershire get started with a new interest, hobby or fitness routine. From ‘Walking for Health’ family walks to running groups, we have many initiatives to help people of all ages lead a more active lifestyle.
Visit the South Gloucestershire Council website Active Lifestyle page or South Gloucestershire Council website Health and wellbeing page for more information.