Get Active Exeter launches its vision

Posted on: 22 October 2015

An exciting campaign to make Exeter the most active city in the South West gets into gear on Monday.

Get Active Exeter is a growing partnership of public and private sector organisations, including local media, large employers and councils, who have joined together in a bid to make the city the most active in the South West by 2018.

A programme of activity will run over three years, and will include 90 different get active projects across the city.

For the first phase of activity, large local employers like EDF Energy and Exeter City Council will be targeted for workplace activity. There will also be lots of community engagement going on as the partnership seek out busy adults and find out how best to help them get active.

To launch the campaign, a giant cheque from Sport England for £130,000 will be handed to Exeter City Council and the partnership behind Get Active Exeter this Monday 26 October during an active families fun day at Cowick Barton Playing Fields.

The cheque will be handed to the partnership by Jim Barratt from Sport England with the Lord Mayor of Exeter, councillors and project partners in attendance. The cheque is one of 40 being handed over to projects right across the UK as part of an £8.2 million National Lottery and Sport England initiative.

Cllr Keith Owen, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for Health, said: “We all know that being a bit more active on a regular basis, whether it is walking more often, or using a bike instead of jumping in the car, can produce real health benefits for people.

“You don’t necessarily have to join a gym or be part of a sports club to become more active – it is about finding the opportunity to include 20 minutes or so of exercise into your daily routine. We hope ‘Get Exeter Active’ will help to inspire people to give the many work place and community-based activities a try, and feel better for it!”

The family cycle day at Cowick Barton Playing Fields coincides with the start of half term, and is the result of work from Active Devon’s community activators, who have been engaging with local residents and groups over the past six months.  Activities on offer on the day include ‘have a go’ sessions on bikes provided by Ride On – an innovative local cycling charity; balance-ability session for toddlers, bike-ability and races against the clock for young children, rides and stunts for older children and a British Cycling-led ride for the whole family.  With lots of practical and handy activities like bike maintenance checks, security tagging, a smoothie making bike and advice on local cycling routes happening as well as the chance for participants to win a bike, it promises to be a really fun packed day.

Many other active groups have emerged from this engagement work, including Active Mums – a project which has resulted in a beginner runner group and family pop up events.

“We understand how getting active when you are busy can seem hard,” said James Bogue, the Get Active Exeter lead from Active Devon.

“The key to getting people behind this fantastic initiative is for us to listen to what people want and bring the right types of activities direct to them, on their doorstep. This has happened with our hugely successful Active Mums network and we will now be targeting workplace and community groups in Exeter.”

The funding from Sport England is designed to encourage people who, for whatever reason do not exercise, to try getting more active. It was the result of match funding from Devon County Council’s public health contribution to district councils, to support local activity.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for health and wellbeing, said:  “This is such a positive use of the district public health grant, and has been used as a catalyst to provide a significant funding contribution from Sport England for a superb local project.

“I believe the aspirations of this campaign to become the most active city in the South West can not only be achieved, but can be surpassed with a truly joined up and community-centred approach.

“We all know we need to move more, but what’s stopping us is not having the time or money or motivation to do it.  I hope this campaign and the projects that come out of it will overcome some of these barriers, inspire people to get active and give them the opportunities to do so.”

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