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  • Comments: 0
  • 16 August 2013 00:00
  • in Government
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Department of Health commits over £5 million to get communities active and healthy

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The Department of Health has announced more than £5 million of funding to encourage children and families to exercise more after revealing that more than a quarter of the adult population are doing less 30 minutes physical activity a week and therefore putting their health at risk.

Only half the adult population is doing the recommended amount of physical activity while almost 30 per cent of adults are active for less than 30 minutes per week. 

The latest statistics also show that only a third of boys and a quarter of girls meet the recommendation for at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced the £5 million funding in a bid to address the issue with £3 million going to Change 4 Life Sports Clubs, £1.1 million for Street Play and £1 million for walking initiatives.

"It's fantastic that more than half of English adults are doing the recommended amount of physical activity, but I am shocked that more than a quarter are not getting even 30 minutes of exercise a week,” said Soubry. 

"We were all inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics and as part of their legacy we want to encourage everyone - children and adults - to get active and get healthy.

"We want to do everything we can to help people lead longer, healthier lives, which is why for the first time ever, we've given local authorities increased and ring-fenced budgets to tackle public health issues in their local area."

The £3 million pounds to extend Change4Life School Sports Clubs will be used by the Youth Sport Trust to extend the programme to areas with the highest childhood obesity, building on the success of the 8,000 clubs already established.

Last year more than 100,000 children and young people took part in Change4Life sports clubs with double the amount of primary school children who attended exercising for an hour a day.

"This new funding is a major boost and will help to build an even stronger network of school sport clubs across the country, offering young people the opportunity to try a range of new sports,” said Youth Sport Trust chief executive John Steele.

"Supporting schools to engage less active children in physical activity and school sport and making this fun is vital to ensure they go on to lead healthy active lifestyles.

"We know that young people were inspired by what they saw last year, so now we need to turn this inspiration into participation; we don't want them put off physical activity for life."
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