Efforts to increase sport and physical activity in Suffolk have received a timely funding boost from Sport England.
The organisation has awarded Suffolk County Council £160,000 to deliver a range of activities that will help encourage more people to be active and, in doing so, support Suffolk’s long-term ambition of becoming the most active county in England. The grant follows a successful three-year partnership with Sport England that has seen new activities developed and supported across the county, a leadership programme implemented and the strategic landscape for sport and physical activity transformed.
Activities to have been directly supported thanks to the partnership include the popular park runs across the Suffolk, the Fit Villages project, the Great East Swim outreach programme, Great Run Local’s at Needham Market and in Southwold, a disability sport programme and the sport and event volunteering project.
The new funding will see some of this work extended but also new activity introduced and insight gained in areas that might prove successful in encouraging those who are currently inactive to become more active.
Director of Public Health at Suffolk County Council, Abdul Razaq said:
“This is welcome news indeed. Like the whole country, here in Suffolk we have a significant issue with the number of people who are physically inactive or if they are active, do not meet recommended levels for physical activity. Lack of physical activity is bad for health and the illness caused by inactivity places a huge burden on our health and social care services. We are therefore delighted that Sport England has once again chosen to invest in our efforts to drive-up physical activity in the county across all ages.”
Sport England’s Director of Community Sport, Mike Diaper said:
“We’re proud to support the Suffolk Most Active County project with more National Lottery funding so that people in Suffolk can lead more active lives. We’re particularly proud to focus our investments on deprived areas, where the need for sporting opportunities is greatest. We invest in projects that know what people need to get more active, understand the barriers they might face, and offer solutions for how to overcome them. In short, these projects put people first.”
Suffolk’s Most Active County programme is a partnership of local authorities, public sector bodies, the voluntary sector and private companies that has been established to turn the tide of inactivity. It focuses on bringing added value to the good work that many organisations across the county already do to engage people in physical activity. The partnership was a recent finalist in the Local Government Chronicle Awards, the best new ideas and most innovative solutions in local government.