A PIONEERING scheme to get men more active in Middlesbrough is being picked up around the country.

Sporting Chance was launched in 2014, with a winning combination of exercise and socialising based at in friendly local venues around the town.

The inclusive programme – a collaboration between Volunteering Matters and Middlesbrough Council Public Health – is aimed at increasing activity levels and reducing social isolation in men over 50s.

Activities range from reminiscence sessions and trips to armchair exercise, walks, circuits and Aqua sessions.

Sporting Chance has proved so successful that the programme has now been duplicated in neighbouring Stockton-on-Tees and as far afield as Sheffield.

And earlier this month (June 19), members of the Middlesbrough and Stockton groups were special guests at the official launch of Sheffield Sporting Chance.

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “It’s widely known that men who become inactive in their 50s have an increased risk of physical and mental health issues.

“But with a little encouragement and the right sort of activities they can make huge improvements to their quality of life, and ensure they live longer and healthier lives.

“Sporting Chance has made a big difference, with those taking part reporting physical, social and psychological benefits.

“And that’s not to mention the potential savings to the NHS by keeping men in this age group mobile and active for longer.

“I’m delighted to see this forward-thinking initiative being picked up in other parts of the country as there really is something for everyone – I’d urge men to come along and see what the Sporting Chance can offer them.”

  • For more information on Sporting Chance:

Middlesbrough call Brian on 01642 515616

Email Brian_parkes@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Stockton call Gill on 01642 733915, mobile 07823 413242 or email Gill.Watson@volunteeringmatters.org.uk or visit www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk/search/sporting+chance