Blackburn with Darwen now more active than ever

Published Tuesday 17 January 2017 at 13:57

Blackburn with Darwen residents are making the borough the most active it has ever been, according to a new national survey.

More people than ever before are participating in sport and physical activity in the borough, according to the Active People Survey – run on behalf of Sport England.

And not only is the borough performing the best it ever has, local rates of participation are higher than both regional and national data.

The survey looks at adult participation in sport and active recreation across the country and in local communities.

The latest stats for 2015/16 show 37.9 per cent of people in Blackburn with Darwen took part in sport or active recreation once a week for at least 30 minutes – the highest ever recorded figure for the area.

For the same time period, the North West figure stands at 35.7 per cent whilst the England average is at 36.1 per cent.

Active People is the largest survey of sport and activity ever carried out in Europe.

The Council’s re:fresh programme, implemented in 2008/9 was created to tackle low levels of activity. It has offered the people of Blackburn with Darwen the opportunity to access a huge range of leisure, health and wellbeing activities – providing the launch pad for people to make changes so that they can live longer and live better.

Community groups in the borough, such as the Couch to 5k and Witton Parkrun, have also played a significant part in promoting good physical health and supporting the work of the Council.

Council bosses have now issued a rallying cry for even more people to take the chance to lead healthy, active lifestyles in 2017.

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Young People, said:

The re:fresh leisure programme was first implemented due to low levels of adult participation in physical activity highlighted by a previous Sport England Active People Survey. To see the turnaround in our performance over a number of years, and for us now to be above the regional and national average, is fantastic and shows just how successful re:fresh, as well as other community-led initiatives, have been.

Councillor Brian Taylor, Assistant Executive member for Health and Adult Social Care, added:

Through re:fresh, and the great work done by people in our communities, many have been able to fully indulge their passion for sport and leisure accessing a huge range of leisure, health and wellbeing activities that best suit their age and ability. Those who struggle to take part in sport have also been given the opportunity to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. I would encourage as many people as possible to get active for 2017.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, added:

These fantastic figures show that the enthusiasm the people of Blackburn with Darwen have for grass roots sport and leisure is growing all the time. These results of this survey are a credit to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in sport and leisure in our borough. Keeping active is one best ways to maintain or improve your health and can reduce the risks of you becoming ill from a whole range of conditions. It has also been shown that it can help to reverse and reduce the effects of some conditions so it is never too late to start.

For more information about re:fresh visit:

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