Getting sporty: Project aiming to get Fenland off the sofa and active celebrates year of success

First anniversary celebrations of Active Fenland

First anniversary celebrations of Active Fenland

Archant

A £250,000 project to get Fenland more active is celebrating its first anniversary.

Active Fenland began after statistics revealed that only one fifth of those in the area aged 16 and over engage in 30 or more minutes of activity/

It was launched thanks to a grant from Sport England.

MP Steve Barclay said: “In 2014 I highlighted the historic underfunding for sports facilities in rural areas and have since fought for our fair share of funding in Westminster.

“After holding a series of meetings with the Chief Executive of Sport England, I was able to secure £250,000 in 2015 for Fenland District Council for a three year project to drive participation in sport.”

Mr Barclay said Active Fenland “has engaged thousands of people into sport and will continue to do so over the next two years”.

The project has backed a number of new sporting clubs around the district including walking football, walking cricket and running clubs, and has seen nearly 3,500 people join in over 1,500 sporting sessions held across the district.

On Friday councillors, sportsmen and women and Mr Barclay helped it celebrate its one year anniversary at the George Campbell Leisure Centre in March.

Walking footballers from March – and even Mr Barclay - showed off their skills with a kick about on the playing fields outside the centre, and there was also a demonstration from Freestyle in Fenland aerobics class and table tennis action from Wisbech Table Tennis Club.

Representatives from local clubs, such as Leverington-based Three Counties Running Club, thanked the project for its support.

Coach Gary Bligh, said: “We started off with ‘trackless’ sessions at the back of Wisbech Police Station last year and since then have gone from strength to strength.

“With the support of Active Fenland we’ve been able to expand to three sessions a week and now have 76 members, which is brilliant.”

Active Fenland activator, Lauren Bremner said: “It’s been stressful but really successful.

“It’s great to see so many people here to celebrate all the hard work we’ve done over the last year.

“We want everyone to know that we’re here and what we offer. The walking sessions have proved to be really popular and we want people in Fenland to know that there’s something out there for everyone.”

Active Fenland is aiming to improve activity in the area over three years by offering clubs to three age groups – ‘GET,’ aimed at 12 to 25-year-olds, ‘BE’ for mid-life adults and ‘STAY’ for those aged 55 and over – and more sports are to be added to the programme in its second year including tennis, walking netball, bowls and boxing for fitness.

For more information, call 01354 622399 or email lbremner@fenland.gov.uk.

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