Darlington’s residents are getting more active a new survey by Sport England has revealed.
The latest Active People Survey showed that during the year up to April 2016, 15.8 million people aged 16 years and over in England played sport at least once a week. That’s an increase of 1.75 million since 2005/6 – the first year of the survey.
Darlington boasted the second highest rate for adult participation out of all the North East council areas with 26.2 per cent taking part in 30 minutes of activity a week between April 2014 and March 2016, up from 21.1 per cent in the year up to October 2006.
Cllr Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and the Local Environment, said:
“We’ve made real progress over the last few years with a wide range of initiatives across the Borough and our Move More Team has played a pivotal role in this success.
“The team has helped secure more than £2m of grant funding over the last three years to improve sports facilities, set up satellite sports clubs and support engagement programmes and the growing number of clubs and volunteers.
“It’s great to see their efforts are paying dividends and more people are getting into, and returning, to sport.”
Among the many successful funding applications support by Darlington Move More Team were:
Darlington Rugby Club – awarded £135,000 from the Inspired Facilities Fund to support a £210,000 project to redevelop the changing facilities and car park.
Football Foundation – successful application for 80 per cent contribution to the total project costs of £512,580, for the refurbishment of existing artificial grass pitch to form new floodlit 3G pitch at Eastbourne Sports Complex.
Sport England Community Sport Activation Fund – successful bid for £139,000 to support local club-based sporting activity to get people back and into sport.
Mike Crawshaw, Darlington Borough Council’s Head of Leisure and Culture, added:
“The funding has helped support a wide variety of local groups and clubs, which has helped encourage more people to take up sport.
“The Move More Team has also worked with more than 5,100 participants in the last year, chalking up around 31,000 visits though a range of initiatives such as Active Darlington Project, after school clubs, community outreach sport and holiday activity sessions.
“We’ve also seen 450 people attend Continuous Professional Development courses, with the help of £10,000 from Tees Valley Sport, Sport England and County Durham Community Foundation. Courses have included sport qualifications, leadership and volunteering and generic coach workshops from first aid to safeguarding to support clubs and community groups.
“We’re delighted to see more and more people are getting active and look forward to continuing to work with many of the fantastic groups and local sports clubs across the borough, which include Darlington Harriers & Athletics Club which celebrated its 125th anniversary earlier this year.”
For more information about sports activities in Darlington and ideas on how to get more active, log onto the website at www.healthydarlington.co.uk. Darlington Move More Team is always looking for more volunteers, to find out more and how you can get involved contact the team on 01325 254370.
Full details of the Sport England Active People Survey can be found on its website at: www.sportengland.org/research/who-plays-sport/