New figures from Sport England show more Cheshire East residents are keeping in trim.
More than 113,500 adults (39.1 per cent) are regularly taking part in sport and active recreation at least once a week, every week – making Cheshire East the highest achiever in the Chester and Warrington sub-region. The figure was 36.8 per cent in 2006.
Collectively, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington Borough Council have progressed to becoming the fourth most active sub-region in the country.
Across the nation as a whole, Sport England figures show that 15.3 million people are playing sport at least once a week, with good progress among young people.
Last week Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Cheshire East Councillor Janet Clowes helped to launch a local strategy ‘Count me in’, that aims to build on this growth and create even more opportunities for those with disabilities and impairments locally.
In partnership with Sport Cheshire, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Warrington Borough Council, the Cheshire East seeks to get an additional 10,000 disabled people more active, more often, by 2017.
Councillor Clowes, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member in charge of health and adult social care, said: “The latest figures from the Sport England Active People Survey show an increase in the numbers of adults in Cheshire East taking part in sport once a week for at least 30 minutes. This is good news and moving in the right direction – but we mustn’t be complacent and there is more to do.
“A total of 39.1 per cent of the surveyed adults responded to say that they were undertaking sporting activity in line with the criteria. This compares to the national average of 35.2 per cent and a North West average of 35.5 per cent.
“Cheshire East continues to invest in its leisure facilities and leisure development provision in innovative ways – encouraging people of all abilities to participate in sport.
“For example, leisure and adult social care teams are working together at Macclesfield and Wilmslow leisure centres, where the integration of the adult day care provision into leisure centres has enabled and enhanced the offer that is available for day care clients, allowing them to participate in sporting opportunities in a way that was previously very difficult.
Current examples include, for example, family swimming, wheelchair basketball and Boccia (target ball for people with disabilities).
“In Cheshire East, we have also supported community organisations and clubs such as the Cheshire Academy of Integrated Sports and Arts and the Wingate Centre for Disabilities. The provision is varied and mixed across Cheshire East as we continue to facilitate a joined up approach to opportunities.
“Our investment of more than £1m improving the fitness suite and facilities at Nantwich pool and plans to develop a Lifestyle Centre in Crewe are further evidence of the Council’s commitment to increasing the quality of the sporting offer to our residents.
“The need to boost participation is important from a health perspective, as the benefits of regular exercise can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and reduced risk of ill health.
“With the Council now responsible for public health, there is a great opportunity to work with our partners, including the voluntary sector, to promote and develop our sport and leisure services to deliver improved health outcomes for all.
“Although the numbers of adults participating are increasing there are still some 60 per cent of the Cheshire East population who need to become more active – and we will continue to work hard to get more people active more often.”
Sport Cheshire’s CEO Anne Ibrahim congratulated the Cheshire East Council on the concerted efforts they have made to get local people active.
She said: “These figures reflect the energy and commitment of the Council, local residents, clubs and volunteers. I’m thrilled to see the Borough do so well and hope that, one year on from the London 2012 Olympic