Derbyshire Sport launch campaign to get 50,000 people active

Professor Kath Mitchell, Hayley Lever, Andy Reed OBE and Ilana Freestone at the Towards an Active Derbyshire launch.

Professor Kath Mitchell, Hayley Lever, Andy Reed OBE and Ilana Freestone at the Towards an Active Derbyshire launch.

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Derbyshire Sport have launched a campaign to get 50,000 more of the county’s residents active by 2021.

Representatives of the sport, health, leisure, education, business and voluntary sectors gathered on Wednesday at Derbyshire County Cricket Club to pledge their support for Towards an Active Derbyshire.

The key aspects of the strategy were outlined by Prof Kathryn Mitchell, chair of Derbyshire Sport and University of Derby vice chancellor, Andy Reed OBE, director of Sport Think Tank and Hayley Lever and Ilana Freestone, directors of Derbyshire Sport.

They were united in expressing the need for new ideas to get people who are not currently physically active on board.

“In Derbyshire we have a greater proportion of inactive people than nationally, nearly 30 per cent of adults are sedentary, and only 56 per cent are active enough to benefit their health.

“Forty-two per-cent of 15-year-olds are sedentary for more than 10 hours a day,” said Prof Mitchell.

“A growing number of people are living increasingly inactive lives and for a healthier, happier more prosperous Derbyshire, we have so much more to do.

“Towards an Active Derbyshire seeks to achieve a vision of a physical activity and sport revolution in the county and central to the strategy are calls for a commitment to change.”

In Derbyshire, only 55.9 per cent of the adult population in Derbyshire are meeting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) recommended levels of physical activity to benefit their health.

The new strategy will bid to engage 50,000 more people by supporting the inactive to become active, encouraging people to engage in sport, and enjoy lifelong participation in physical activity.

It will also address inequalities by focusing on three priority groups – females, people from lower socio-economic groups and young people aged five to 18.

Throughout the strategy delivery, disabled people will be supported to become engaged in physical activity and sport.

Hayley Lever said: “We’ve all been working really hard in Derbyshire to engage people in physical activity and sport, but we haven’t achieved what we set out to do and we need to do something differently.

“Over the past year, we have taken time to understand the trends, talk to partners, learn from national and international examples and policy direction, which has helped us collectively arrive at what we believe is a new, more focused vision.

“Following the launch guests had the chance to ‘practice what they preach’ by taking part in Kwik Cricket or a led walk.”

“It’s really important to bring a range of partners from across Derbyshire together because the success of this community-based strategy is not just down to one person or organisation, but everyone working together,” said Andy Reed.

“We want to get a little bit of fresh thinking into it because the old adage of ‘build it and they will come’ is no longer relevant.

“There are hundreds of people who get the importance of this across Derbyshire and if we all push together in the same direction we can achieve a lot more.”

The Derbyshire Physical Activity and Sport Strategy, Towards an Active Derbyshire 2016- 2021, can be downloaded at HERE