Leeds getting set to sign up to free sport and fitness sessions

People in Leeds will soon be able to sign up to take part in free sport and fitness sessions across the city.

Leeds City Council’s sport and health pilot ‘Leeds Let’s Get Active’, which aims to encourage people of all ages to be more physically active and especially those in areas of greatest health inequality, is set to begin in October pending the council’s executive board giving its final approval on Wednesday 4 September.

Should approval be given by the executive board, details regarding pre-registration will then be provided by the council at a later date. This will provide anyone wishing to take part with the opportunity to express their interest and find out more details.

The project will see one off-peak hour each day made available at every Leeds City Council-managed leisure centre in the city for free gym and swimming sessions. The sessions will be open to all but will be primarily targeted at those who currently do not take part in any sport or physical exercise.

In addition to the core one-hour offer, an additional hour each day will also be available at the John Charles Centre for Sport as well as Armley and Fearnville leisure centres, while at Middleton Leisure Centre a total of two hours of free activities will be on offer as part of the focus on tackling health inequality in the city.

Leeds Let’s Get Active is set to run for 18 months until March 2015 and is being funded through a total of £1million match-funding by Leeds public health and Sport England through the National Lottery, plus an additional £60,000 from Leeds City Council’s health budget.

Running alongside the free offer in leisure centres, community sport sessions such as running, walking and family-orientated activities will take place mainly in parks, while packages offering three months’ of access to council leisure centre facilities and classes for just £5 will also be available via referrals from GP practices and public health service providers.

The project will strengthen ties between sport and health services, with links to health checks and advice on healthy lifestyles being offered. The scheme will be closely monitored to measure its success and impact, with Leeds Metropolitan University confirmed as the official research partner for the project examining how the scheme performs and which sports and activities prove popular.

The project aims to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the city, increasing participation in regular exercise and cutting the cost of physical inactivity which is estimated by Sport England to cost Leeds as a city £10.4m every year.

The project is also part of the drive for Leeds to be the best and most active big city in England, and is a leading example of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for the city.

Leeds City Council executive member for health and wellbeing Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

“We are all really excited at what a difference Leeds Let’s Get Active will make to people’s lives.Giving people the chance to get fitter and live healthier lives is fantastic and can have long-term health benefits so we hope as many people as possible sign up and find out more about taking part.”

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“This project is a great example of how sport and health services can come together for everyone in the city to benefit from. It will provide a real Olympic legacy for Leeds as well as helping the city in its drive to become the most active big city in England. We are very grateful to everyone involved in backing this project, especially Sport England and the National Lottery for their invaluable support.”

For more information, please see: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/documents/s101254/Leeds%20Lets%20Get%20Active%20Cover%20Report%20210813.pdf


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk