Alconbury Weald among pilot communities to benefit from funding.
LIVING SPORT is celebrating after being awarded £500,000 of National Lottery funding to help people in new housing growth communities across the area stay active when their life circumstances change.
Sport England research shows that there are nearly 15 million people who are regularly active in England, which means they have a resilient habit of sport and physical activity.
Active people benefit from enhanced quality of life, confidence, and improved physical and mental wellbeing. But even people with the strongest habits are at risk of dropping out when they go through a major life change, whether that’s a serious injury or illness, having a baby, children starting school, a new job, moving house or retiring.
The funding bid, which will go towards the Active New Communities project, is a successful collaboration between a large number of partners across the area including Cambridgeshire County Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council and Vivacity, developers Urban&Civic and Bedford Pilgrims Housing Association.
Living Sport’s Active New Communities project focuses on helping individuals to stay active while relocating to a new community. Moving house is recognised as a significant event in a person’s life that can be a cause of stress and a disrupter to ‘good’ behaviours. Moving into an entirely new community, which can lack some of the more established sporting facilities and clubs, can have a negative impact on physical activity habits.
The Active New Communities project will be delivered into eight strategic growth sites in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. These eight ‘new communities’ are being built and occupied during the period 2018-2021. In the first year, activity will be focused on Alconbury Weald, Northstowe, and Hauxton.
The project will bring together a range of partner organisations that work in Cambridgeshire’s new communities to ensure that residents are provided with information and opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity.
Rebecca Britton, from Urban&Civic said:
“We have worked hard to provide both early facilities and open space from the first days of Alconbury Weald, but moving house can break people’s habits and connections to their usual activities. At the same time, it provides an opportunity for people to establish new healthy routines and make friends by getting out and about and being active. This project will help us work with existing clubs and activities, alongside our support to new residents, to get more people playing in sport and living active lives.”
Living Sport is one of a number of partners that Sport England is working with to help people to stay active – particularly those most vulnerable to dropping out, such as women and girls.
Living Sport Chair Simon Morris said: “We are hugely appreciative of the support from the National Lottery for this project which has been successful due to the excellent working together across public, private and voluntary sector and reflects our local needs with so much housing development across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. It is an exciting project for Living Sport to lead and we look forward to working closely with those people moving into these new communities to make it a success.”
Cllr Peter Hudson, Cambridgeshire County Council Health Committee Chairman, said “We’re really excited about the Active New Communities programme kicking off thanks to this important funding from Sport England.
“Our priority is to keep people active and improve their physical wellbeing. With so many things to think about when relocating, practising sports can quickly become secondary. This project will help those who are moving into new communities to find the best sport activities for them near their new home.”
Sport England's Director of Sport Phil Smith said: “We know that when life changes, activity habits can change too. Leaving school or college, getting a new job, starting a family, retiring from work - all big challenges for even the most committed to sport and fitness. We want to find out what would make it easier for people to stay active after that big change.”
“Thanks to National Lottery players, we are giving Living Sport project funding so they can help those moving house to stay active. Sport England will support this work and share what works – and what doesn't – more widely among the sport sector so more can be done to help support people to keep up their activity habits whatever happens in their lives."