The next phase of Doncaster's physical activity strategy is approved
Posted: Wed, 06 Jul 2022 12:12
Doncaster's vision to level the playing field when it comes to opportunities to be active took a big stride forward today, with news that the Council has approved the next phase of the Borough's physical activity strategy.
The welcome news demonstrates a collective commitment across Doncaster to support residents to lead an active life and sets the direction for the next few years to tackle the challenge of inactivity within the borough.
The refreshed 'Get Doncaster Moving' strategy builds upon a considerable amount of work, learning and research already undertaken locally around movement, physical activity and sport, which has helped to inform the next set of priorities. These include:
- Investment into our stock of leisure facilities including Askern Leisure Centre, which is undergoing major improvement works – with an upgrade from what was a coal-heated swimming pool with outdated facilities to a modernised, low carbon facility with sustainable heating, as well as the addition of new community spaces and facilities. Rossington Leisure Centre will also see refurbishment of its facilities over the summer and designs have been developed for future investment into Thorne Leisure centre.
- Investment in Doncaster's 'Future Parks' sites, with work already underway at The Crags, Campsall Country Park, Hexthorpe Park and Town Fields following close community engagement with residents and local Friends of Groups. Responding to resident feedback, plans are being developed at all these locations that will see improvements in how the parks look (such as through improved signage, walking routes etc) and how the parks can be used by the community they serve (such as making the parks more accessible for community groups and local events).
- Other areas of work include supporting major sporting events coming to Doncaster such as the Rugby League World Cup later this year, and working closely with local schools to ensure that children have the opportunity to be regularly active during their school day. The team will also continue helping residents and groups develop their own ideas about how to increase physical activity in local areas through the 'Active Communities Grants' scheme (funds of up to £500 available to residents and groups) and by continuing to invest in 'Community Connectors', who are a team of local people who work closely within their communities to support people to be active.
Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Leisure, Culture and Planning, Councillor Nigel Ball said:
"We know that for some people in Doncaster, it is much harder to be active than it is for others. Approximately a third of Doncaster residents do fewer than 30 minutes of moderate activity each week. Often, the people who are the least active are also facing other challenges in their lives too such as economic hardship and other inequalities. But being active is not a luxury – it's a right.
There are many real challenges that people face which get in the way of them being physically active. If we really want to make long lasting change in Doncaster, which we do, we need to work together and make some big changes. The GDM strategy is about the whole partnership coming together to remove barriers to being active in Doncaster, and providing the right support and encouragement to residents to enable everyone to live an active life."
A copy of the strategy will be made available on the Get Doncaster Moving website soon.