A citywide conversation about how the city can help people move more and increase levels of physical activity is taking off, as Sport Leeds and health partners build a body of evidence, ideas and opinion to inform future plans to help make Leeds the most active city.
Moving more isn’t just about getting sweaty in the gym. It’s walking in a park, doing a sport you enjoy, playing a game with the kids, gardening, cycling to work, or dancing to a song you love. It’s what you might be doing as part of your day anyway, but by doing it more often or more vigorously you could make a real difference to how well and happy you feel.
As part of a new ‘Get Set Leeds’ initiative, consultation and engagement events will be held in a range of locations across the city in coming months to begin the conversation, and there is also a website with a simple to complete survey available- https://getsetleeds.co.uk/have-your-say/.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Get Set Leeds is a chance for us all to chat about what being active means to us and what might get us moving more. We know being active is good for individual health, for communities and for the city as a whole. We also know many people are still inactive.
“Imagine if Leeds was the most active city in the UK – how would things be different? By joining the conversation, you can help to make it happen. Leeds is a great city for activity, with a wide range of formal and informal things to do which can play a part in keeping us fit.
“We know exercise is really helpful tackling obesity and helps in a whole range of other health conditions too. We also understand that not everyone feels up to being the next Brownlee brother or Nicola Adams, so we want to make sure the views and needs of the whole of Leeds are taken into account.”
Dean Smith is a mental health champion for his running club, the South Leeds Lakers. He said: “Running has been so good for my self-esteem and self-worth. Having lived with mental illness for so long I’m really lacking in those areas. Running gives me a sense of achievement I’ve struggled to find anywhere else.
“One thing I didn’t expect was to make so many friends through running. It’s not just about the exercise part of it, being in a club especially is really social. It’s a real community – we meet up and go out together outside of running as well. I really feel like I’m part of something.”
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and active lifestyles, said: “We want people to continue to make good use of our excellent parks and leisure facilities. We also know we can always learn more about what can make things easier and better for people who don’t make as much use of facilities as they might.
“I really encourage people to complete the survey and attend the meetings being held. The better understanding we can get about what people want and what they find as barriers, the better we can try to help deliver solutions for the future.”
To join the conversation to get Leeds moving more, go to www.getsetleeds.co.uk.