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news and communications

UK Government publishes plan to increase cycling and walking

Last Updated: 5/22/2017

The UK government has published its £1.2 billion long-term plan to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys in England and Wales. The government wants cycling and walking to become the norm by 2040 and will target funding at innovative ways to encourage people onto a bike or to use their own two feet for shorter journeys. Plans include specific objectives to double cycling, reduce cycling accidents and increase the proportion of 5 to 10 year-olds walking to school to 55% by 2025. The plan includes funding for: • £50 million to provide cycling proficiency training for a further 1.3 million children • £101 million to improve cycling infrastructure and expand cycle routes between the city centres, local communities and key employment and retail sites • £85 million to make improvements to 200 sections of roads for cyclists • £80 million for safety and awareness training for cyclists, extra secure cycle storage, bike repair, maintenance courses and road safety measures • £389.5 million for councils to invest in walking and cycling schemes • £476.4 million from local growth funding to support walking and cycling Read more:

news article

New Strategic Plan Launched

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) has launched a new strategic plan which will direct the work of the Association through to 2021 and beyond. The plan, entitled “Inspiring Through Inclusion 2017-2021“, has been developed following a comprehensive consultation process with key partners and strategic bodies across Scotland. This Association’s vision is to lead inclusive sport in Scotland for participants and athletes with a physical, sensory or learning disability. Read more:

research

Still too many barriers to participation in sport

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

A Scottish Parliament committee examining the levels of participation in sport says there is still work to be done in encouraging more people to take part in grassroots sport, over two years after Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games. The finding is included in an interim report of the committee’s inquiry into barriers to sport participation, the Commonwealth Games legacy and barriers to sport. Members of the committee visited Community Sports Hubs around the country and the committee also carried out a survey of over 3,000 people to gather views as to why people either do or do not participate in sport or physical activity. The biggest barrier to participation was a perceived lack of time. A shortage of local facilities and cost were also seen as significant barriers. The survey revealed that females (25%) were almost twice as likely as males (13%) to not take part in regular sport or physical activity. Feeling self-conscious and carer or family commitments were the leading reasons of non-participation for females. Read more:

news article

UK eyes up Commonwealth Games 2022 bid

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

The Government is calling on UK cities interested in hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games to work up plans for how they would stage the event. The UK Government will work with interested cities and the relevant Commonwealth Games Associations on a detailed assessment of whether Britain can step in to host the event in 2022 after it was announced last month that Durban in South Africa can no longer hold the games. This will include looking at important factors such as the economic benefits the Games could deliver to the UK - and to the host city or cities - through international trade, investment and tourism opportunities, and how potential host cities could benefit, as well as the necessary infrastructure and major event delivery experience that potential host cities have. Read more:

news article

Sustrans launches new five year strategy

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

Sustrans has launched a new five-year strategy addressing the challenges of today and setting out a concrete pledge to make it easier for people to walk and cycle. The strategy has three areas of focus: 1. connecting people and places through routes and networks for leisure and everyday utility trips 2. creating liveable neighbourhoods, by working with communities to turn their streets into lively, people friendly neighbourhoods, and ensuring that new developments have walking and cycling at their core 3. transforming the school run and commutes by working with schools and employers to make it easier for people to walk or cycle for regular journeys. Read more:

news and communications

National Charity Partnership launches challenge to help people kick start healthier habits

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

The Tesco, Diabetes UK and BHF national charity partnership has revamped and relaunched its online Goal Setter tool to give people extra support to change their lifestyle. The Let’s Do This 8 Week Challenge allows users to set and track their health-related goals over an eight-week period. It gives users a more tailored experience and is designed to encourage lasting lifestyle change. Goals focus on everyday changes, such as becoming more active and improving diet. The 8 Week Challenge also contains achievable fitness tips, healthy recipes health-related inspiration to keep people motivated. Read more below:

news article

Development of a draft global action plan to promote physcial activity

Last Updated: 5/19/2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published plans for the development of a Global Action Plan on Physical Activity to be presented to the World Health Assembly in May 2018. An overview of the process for developing the global action plan is below. • May 2017 - A zero draft of the global action plan to include the proposed vision, strategic objectives and set of actions/interventions for all relevant stakeholders. • June 2017 - A technical advisory group will convene to review the zero draft and the output will be a first draft of the plan. • July-September 2017 - An open, web-based consultation on the first draft of the plan and, where feasible, regional consultations with member states. The contributions will be used to develop a second draft. • September 2017 - A consultation with the United Nations agencies in Geneva on the second draft and the contributions will be used to develop a third draft. • October 2017 - Submission of the third draft to the WHO Department of Government Bodies for processing and translation, in time for consideration by the WHO Executive Board in January 2018 • March 2018 - Member state will consider the draft global action plan • March 2018 - Submission of the final draft to the WHO Department of Governing Bodies • May 2018 - Member bodies to consider the final draft. More information can be found on the World Health Organisation website:

funding

Comic Relief's Funding Programme Opens

Last Updated: 4/11/2017

Comic Relief’s Communities and Sport for change funding stream is now open. The Communities and Sport for Change funding programme is looking for grant proposals between £40,000 and £75,000 for up to two years of activity in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. They want groups to think about what is not working in their community and how sport and physical activity can be used as part of a solution to address the issues. Typical problems might be anti-social behaviour and older people feeling isolated or a lack of community cohesion. Find out more below:

guidance

The Heart of an Active Nation

Last Updated: 4/11/2017

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has released its new strategy for 2017-2021 called The Heart of an Active Nation to create a vibrant sport and recreation sector which is fit for the future. The strategy outlines its ambition to create a vibrant sport and recreation sector reflecting the changing demographics, environments, resources and technologies that are happening. The vision of the strategy is an active nation through sport and recreation. It describes a world that the alliance wants to see, because of the important role of sport and recreation on physical and mental wellbeing, the economy and the development of society. The strategy sets out four objectives which will be the main focus of work and receive the majority of resources: Demonstrate the economic and social value of sport and recreation. Make sport and recreation volunteering more representative and more accessible. Work together with the sector to improve the availability, accessibility and quality of sport and recreation for children and young people. Make our members and us fit for the future. The full strategy can be downloaded below:

Uncategorised

Step into a healthier workplace this spring

Last Updated: 3/31/2017

Paths for All have just launched their spring Step Count Challenge. Teams from workplaces across Scotland will be challenging themselves to walk more and feel the difference. The challenge supports staff to find simple and sustainable ways of building a little more activity into their working day including; walking to work, going for a lunchtime stroll, walking meetings and using the stairs rather than the lift. The challenge starts on the 1 May and runs for 8 weeks. Participants enter in teams of 5 and record their steps using a pedometer, app or device. Everyone gets a user account where they record their daily steps, share comments with their team and track the team's progress on a leaderboard. There will be the usual competitions, prizes and more. Paths for All has been running the challenge for five years now and in that time over 18,000 people have taken part. Together, they have counted more than eight and a half billion steps, equal to almost four million miles. The outcome is the challenge makes a difference to people’s health. The University of Edinburgh carried out research into participants’ physical activity levels before and after the challenge. They found that those taking part walked over one and half hours more and sat for six hours less each week*. You can register now and purchase pedometers for your workplace at:

research

Tackling the School Run

Last Updated: 3/31/2017

In February 2016, the Scottish Government commissioned research to provide the latest evidence on school transport choices and approaches which influence these choices. It aims to inform policies that minimise car use and maximise active travel. There is no single answer to achieving high levels of sustainable transport, but combining several elements can be successful. For example, provision of infrastructure for active travel, training to allow safe use of infrastructure, initiatives to encourage behaviour change (competitions, incentives) and achieving buy-in from the whole school community. Key challenges identified by the research include safety concerns, resource constraints, sustaining active travel rates as children move through the school system from primary school to secondary school, funding pressures and wider societal norms around car use, walking and cycling. The findings are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners working in transport, education, health, environment and planning with greater cross-departmental working integral to tackling the school run and promoting travel behaviour change. Read more below:

news article

Drive to get older people active in Scotland

Last Updated: 3/31/2017

The Scottish Government and the Care Inspectorate have announced a £1 million drive to help develop and spread work to increase levels of physical activity in older people in Scotland. Older people in care homes across Scotland are set to benefit from a programme to boost physical activity. An improvement programme will run which provides training and development to staff in care services in different areas in Scotland. Local learning events will be held and the programme team will offer support to care services to help increase levels of physical activity in the older people they care for. In Scotland there are 866 care homes for older people, approximately 2,500 care at home/housing support services and many other support services for adults. Developing and spreading work to improve physical activity participation in these care services through the proposed improvement programme supports the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision of maintaining people in their own home or in a homely environment, prevention of ill health and admission to hospital and supporting self-management. Read more below:

report

Cycling Tourism worth £345 million to the economy

Last Updated: 3/31/2017

A new report from Sustrans Scotland sets out advice for tourism businesses in Scotland to cater for cycle tourists. Cycling tourism was valued at £345 million in 2015. The report details five adjustments that businesses can make to be more accommodating for cyclists: 1. Local information - provide local knowledge of cycle friendly destinations and trail guides to inspire visitors 2 Bike security - provide a safe place to store bikes for a couple of hours/overnight to ensure cyclists feel comfortable about the security of their bikes 3. Be more flexible - some cyclists may leave early or arrive late to their destination. Serving early breakfasts or late dinners will be appreciated and remembered by visitors. 4 Bike maintenance facilities - a few simple facilities such as a bike pump, an emergency repair kit or basic tools could be a real winner 5. Washing and drying facilities - after battling the elements, cyclists may welcome a place to wash and dry their clothes ahead of another day’s adventure. Read more below:

survey

Sport for Everyone - Health and Sport Committee inquiry

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

The Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament launched a survey looking at sport and physical activity in Scotland. People were invited to take part in a short survey on sport participation. The committee wanted to hear views on why people do/do not participate in sport or physical activity. The work is being done to examine the recent progress on sport participation in Scotland and to inform recommendations to ensure the Commonwealth Games legacy continues over the medium to long term.

Uncategorised

Keep active to beat the ‘January Blues’

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

The Tesco National Charity Partnership is calling on people to be active to beat the January Blues by using its online motivational tool to get active. The partnership commissioned a survey which found: •eighty-two percent of UK adults report feeling down in January, with many attributing these feelings to dark nights, lack of money and cold weather •three in ten say going for a walk or a jog helps improve their mood, but only 14 per cent actually do it •nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 per cent) said they would like to find more time to exercise •nine in ten people agree that being active can help to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease, but almost half (46 per cent) admit they lacked motivation. •adults reported spending an average of 88 minutes a week on moderate exercise such as walking or cycling. The National Charity Partnership’s online goal setter allows people to set and monitor their health-related targets and encourages them to keep going and achieve their goals.

research

Weekend warriors’ still get important health benefits

Last Updated: 2/17/2017

New research from Loughborough University, University of Leicester and University College London, has found that people who cram all of their weekly exercise into one or two sessions, eg, at the weekend have a reduced risk of death from any cause of cardiovascular disease. The study included data from 63,591 participants, which was taken from the Health Survey for England and the Scottish Health Survey between 1994 and 2012. Participants' activity levels were classified as inactive, sufficiently active, weekend warriors or regularly active. Researchers examined the association between their physical activity patterns and the risk of death, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Compared with the inactive group, all groups saw a reduction in risk of death and cardiovascular disease. The researchers conclude that: “Weekend warrior and other leisure time physical activity patterns characterised by one or two sessions per week may be sufficient to reduce all-case, cardiovascular and cancer mortality risks regardless of adherence to prevailing physical activity guidelines”. The full journal article can be accessed below:

events

World Day for Physical Activity on Wednesday 6th April

Last Updated: 2/15/2017

World Day for Physical Activity will take place on Wednesday 6 April 2016. “Active Child; Healthy Adult” is this year's central theme. Celebrate by organising an event and/or activity that encourages individuals and various community groups to be active. Register your event on the website to contribute to the log of activities taking place across the world. These events can be publicised by downloading promotional posters from the World Physical Activity Day website.

funding

Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) Challenge Fund

Last Updated: 2/15/2017

The Energy Saving Trust has been appointed to deliver the LCTT Challenge Fund, helping to deliver active and low carbon hubs. Launched on 19th December, the deadline for applications is 28th February 2017. The LCTT Challenge Fund website has full details, including guidance notes and details of how to apply.

survey

Sport for Everyone Inquiry - Survey

Last Updated: 1/16/2017

The Health and Sport Committee has today launched an inquiry looking at participation in sport in Scotland. The remit for this work is: to consider the degree of progress made in recent years around access to, and participation in, sport in Scotland. To make recommendations in ensuring that the Commonwealth Games "Active Legacy" aims of increasing access to and participation in sport continue over the medium to long term. As part of the inquiry, a short survey has also been launched on sport participation which only takes a couple of minutes to complete. The survey will run until 7th February 2017 and can be accessed from the link below:

resource

Transport Statistics, Great Britain 2016

Last Updated: 1/10/2017

The Department of Transport has released the latest statistics on travel habits in the UK revealing that 22% of all trips in the UK were made by walking in 2015. However, walking and cycling trips have declined since 1995/97. Main findings: •The average distance a person walked in 2015 was 185 miles – equivalent of the distance from London to Manchester. •44% of children aged 5-10 years and 37% of children aged 11-16 years walk to school. •15% of adults in England cycled at least once a month. The full survey can be accessed from the link below:

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