Oldham Community Leisure leads new drive to increase participation in sport

editor

A new initiative to inspire people from deprived areas to get involved in sport will be launched early in 2012.

Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) is leading on the initiative, known as the Energize project, working alongside Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Community 1st Oldham and The Oldham College, to deliver a comprehensive programme offering a host of sporting activities, as well as volunteering opportunities and training.

Alan Keane, Health and Outdoor Development Officer, OCL, said: “This is a great example of Oldham organisations working together to make taking part in sport and physical activity easy, enjoyable, and affordable. Increasing participation in sport is just one element – we are aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of the people taking part, as well as offering them volunteering and training opportunities, which could lead to paid employment. Whilst our main target group is young people from 16 to25 who are often less likely to participate in sport, we are also offering activities for families and older people.”

The project, which has an ambitious target of 10,000 new attendances at new sport sessions between January and July 2012, received £14,000 funding from Community 1st Oldham, a public private partnership which develops community-based primary health, social care and community premises in Oldham, and £10,000 from Sport England’s SportMatch.

The programme will offer a number of popular sports including football, boxing, cricket, basketball, swimming and rugby for a nominal charge of around 50 pence per session. Three month gym memberships will be available for just £10. There will also be a number of outdoor activities including walking, climbing, running and cycling, which links to Oldham Council’s objectives to make Oldham’s countryside and outdoor offering more accessible.

As part of Energize’s health-improvement remit, it will fund places on a new GP exercise referral programme for people with chronic medical conditions who are on a low income.

Oldham Community Leisure

www.oclactive.co.uk

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