The new ‘actively improving lives’ strategy launched by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin’s county sports partnership has triggered a host of exciting partnership opportunities.
Energize unveiled its new plans for tackling inactivity to an audience of invited guests at Enginuity, in the Ironbridge Gorge, appealing for them to offer their support . . . and the pledges came pouring in.
Chris Child, Energize chief executive, said: “The launch event was a huge success. We received many exciting pledges of support, which our team are now busily following up. We’re very grateful for people’s enthusiastic response.
“Our new strategy is seeking to put more emphasis on those who are currently classed as ‘inactive’, which is between a quarter and a third of the adult population, and over 80% of young people aged between five and 15.
“But we are very aware that this is not an issue we can tackle on our own, which is why we are keen to reach out to as many local groups and organisations as possible to work in partnership.”
Among the organisations which made pledges at the launch event were Shropshire Football Association, the local branches of Age UK, Shrewsbury Business Improvement District, and both of the county’s local authorities.
Offers of support range from engaging with armed forces veterans, youth workers and young health champions, to support from disability development officers, promotion of walking netball sessions, and targeted help for Shropshire’s elderly population.
The new Energize strategy document highlights a series of attention-grabbing trends and statistics, including the in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin – which has a higher than average older population – 42% of people aged over 55 are deemed inactive, compared with 29% of the overall adult figure.
The county also has 16 areas that fall within the 10% most deprived nationally – 15 of which are in Telford & Wrekin.
The launch event was co-hosted by John Buckley, professor of applied science at University Centre Shrewsbury, who revealed that an estimated 81,000 people in the Shropshire Council area, and a further 62,000 people in Telford & Wrekin, are officially classed as ‘inactive’.
The launch event explained the refreshed Energize structure, and introduced teams of staff who are focusing on specific priority audiences, building relationships with both new and existing stakeholders.
Lynne Taylor, pledging on behalf of Young Health Champions
Julie Mellor of Taking Part, Heather Osbourne from Age UK, and Valerie Graham of Citizens’ Advice Telford