Open up to Active Belfast
15 December 2011
Open air gyms are to be put in place throughout Belfast.
Sites at Woodvale Park and Blythefield in the Sandy Row area have already been agreed and seven other sites in Belfast will be presented to Belfast City Council for approval at its next meeting in January.
Funding for the gyms has been provided by the Public Health Agency (PHA), Belfast City Council and the Belfast Health Development Unit.
This initiative is the first of many, where resources from the PHA, council and other partners within the Belfast Strategic Partnership (BSP) will be pooled to develop projects and programmes to promote an `Active Belfast` brand.
BSP is made up of representatives from the council, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) and the PHA, statutory organisations, private sector as well as community and voluntary agencies.
A conference at the Grove Wellbeing Centre, hosted by Belfast Strategic Partnership, is taking place today (Thursday, 15 December) and brings together key stakeholders on Active Belfast to explore improved ways of working.
It will be addressed by Mr Peter McNaney, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council as well as the Chief Executives from BHSCT and PHA, Colm Donaghy and Eddie Rooney.
Mr. McNaney said: “Active Belfast is a wide ranging and innovative programme of work to improve the activity levels, health and quality of life for all residents of Belfast, regardless of their age, gender, culture or ability.
“Life inequalities in the city continue to widen and research tells us that leading a more active lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of developing certain diseases and improve our feelings of mental wellbeing. Under the Belfast Strategic Partnership, Active Belfast will provide a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to the provision and resourcing of physical activity across the city.”
Today`s conference will be looking to develop a greater understanding of what an active city is and how it can benefit the people of Belfast, as well as developing an integrated partnership between attendees.
Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA, discussed life expectancy, deprivation and the link to health problems such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the upsurge in type 2 diabetes within the population
“Research has shown physical activity to reduce the risk of CVD by between 27% and 41% depending on the amount of energy expenditure during exercise,” said Mr Rooney.
“Clinical trials have shown that lifestyle interventions that include physical activity can decrease progression of pre-diabetes to type II diabetes by between 31% and 63% in adults with impaired glucose tolerance,” he added.
BHSCT Chief Executive, Colm Donaghy, said it was vital in the current economic climate that everyone worked together to achieve the best outcome possible for the money being spent.
“This is why partnership working is so important we don`t want to duplicate but to share lessons so that we roll out the benefits across the city. Everyone deserves the best health possible and we can help them achieve that by providing the right opportunities and encouragement to get active.”
Printer friendly version
Printer friendly version
Download a print quality version of the image activelead.jpg