Sport England injects £10m into projects to get older adults active

"People are living longer but not necessarily in the best of health" – Mike Diaper, executive director, Sport England

Sport England is investing £10m of National Lottery money into 20 projects across the country to reduce inactivity among over 55s.

The funded organisations will use activity to help tackle problems including poor mental health, dementia, loneliness caused by bereavement, and addiction.

Mike Diaper, executive director at Sport England, said: “People are living longer but not necessarily in the best of health. We’re excited to be supporting these 20 partners with National Lottery funding to help get older adults get active.

“We’ll be sharing learnings so successful approaches can be scaled-up or replicated across the country so we can help more adults lead happier and healthier lives.”

Sport England has put tackling inactivity at the heart of its strategy ‘Towards An Active

Nation’. In 2015 its Active Lives survey found that inactivity among over 55s is responsible for as many deaths as smoking and 36 per cent of over 55s are inactive compared to 26 per cent of the population as a whole.

Because the age group can be so diverse, both in terms of age, perception, experience, motivation and capability, each of the partners has co-designed their project and will use innovative approaches to help tackle inactivity.

The funded organisations are: Active Dorset, Age UK Milton Keynes, Aquarius, The British Gymnastics Foundation, The Canal & River Trust, Cotman Housing Association, Demos Active Radio, The Devon Local Nature Partnership, The English Football League Trust, Havant Borough Council, Guys and St Thomas's NHS Trust: Health Innovation Network, Hertfordshire County Council, Interlink Community Services, Motitech, Northumbria Sport Foundation, One Dance UK, Oomph Wellness Training Ltd, Parkinson's UK, The Single Homeless Project, and Sporting Memories Network CIC.

First published, written by Rob Gibson, 5 Oct 2017