Friday, 27 September 2013

Free sport and fitness sessions set to start in Leeds


Caption: The new Leeds Let's Get Active programme is ready to begin


Leeds City Council’s flagship new programme of free daily sport and fitness sessions for all begins next week.

The ambitious new sport and health pilot ‘Leeds Let’s Get Active’ offering free sessions at every council-managed leisure centre in the city as well as activities held in community venues such as Bramley Baths and parks starts on Monday 30 September.

Approximately 1500 people have already expressed their interest in taking part since the pre-registration for the scheme via www.leedsletsgetactive.co.uk opened earlier this month.

The programme will see one off-peak hour each day made available at every Leeds City Council-managed leisure centre in the city for free gym and swimming sessions.

In addition to the core one-hour session, an additional hour each day will also be available at the John Charles Centre for Sport as well as Armley and Fearnville leisure centres, while at Middleton Leisure Centre a total of two hours of free activities including exercise classes and racket sports will be on offer.

Running alongside the free offer in leisure centres, community sport sessions such as running, walking and family-orientated activities will take place mainly in parks.

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All media are invited to attend one of the first sessions of Leeds Let's Get Active at Armley Leisure Centre at 12:30pm on Tuesday 1 October. Representatives from Leeds City Council and Sport England will be attending and available for interview.
Armley Leisure Centre is located on Carr Crofts in Armley, LS12 3HB.
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While open to all, the sessions are aimed in particular at encouraging those who currently do little or no regular sport or physical exercise in order to address health problems and inequalities in the city.

The programme will run for 18 months until March 2015 and is being funded by £500,000 of National Lottery investment from Sport England and £500,000 of match funding from Leeds public health, plus an additional £60,000 from Leeds City Council’s public health budget.

The project aims to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the city, increasing participation in regular exercise and cutting the cost of physical inactivity which is estimated by Sport England to cost Leeds as a city £10.4m every year.

In addition, the scheme is part of the drive for Leeds to be the best and most active big city in England, and is a leading example of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for the city.

Leeds City Council executive member for health and wellbeing Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

“We have been counting down the days and the start of Leeds Let’s Get Active is finally here. We are all really excited to see this scheme take off and for people all over the city to get active. It is something we have never tried before on this scale and the possible benefits from it for individuals, families and the city as a whole are enormous.

“The response already from people keen to sign up has been really impressive so now we can’t wait for the sessions to start.”

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“From a discussion about what we could do to make a real difference to people’s lives on the back of the amazing events of London 2012 to seeing this fantastic programme begin has been brilliant to be part of.

“Everyone who has helped this come together deserves a big thank you, especially Sport England and our colleagues in public health. Leeds Let’s Get Active can make a massive difference in so many ways and if people come along and take part we know it will be a real success.”

Sport England Community Sport Director Mike Diaper said:

“It is great to see Leeds Let’s Get Active up and running. Not only is this programme going to help more people in Leeds get into sport, it will also help address the huge cost inactivity has on both on the NHS and on people’s health.

“I look forward to seeing the programme progress and the people of Leeds developing a sporting habit for life.”

For more details about Leeds Let’s Get Active visit www.leedsletsgetactive.co.uk.


ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk