A bid to get more Ipswich people into sport has been awarded nearly a quarter of a million pounds.
The Borough Council and its charity partner, ActivLives, will provide opportunities for people in most need to get fitter in their own communities – thanks to National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Sport Activation Fund.
ActivIpswich was set up by the Borough Council in response to a need for more inclusive and community sporting opportunities for residents aged 45 years and older in the more deprived areas of the town. The £238,000 funding will allow the project, which kicks off in south-west Ipswich, to offer more sessions throughout the town over the next three years.
Feedback from local communities suggested some people were not taking part in sports programmes in traditional facilities so more familiar settings, such as community centres, housing schemes and libraries, will be used instead.
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Culture & Leisure portfolio-holder, said: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Community Sport Activation Fund. We want to encourage people to become more active but also to feel comfortable about doing so. These sessions will have an emphasis on fun and will provide opportunities for people to find new friends as well as helping them to feel healthy.”
Mike Diaper, Sport England Director of Community Sport, said: “It’s great to be working with innovative projects like ActivIpswich to offer people the chance to get into sport in a way that best suits them. The investment being made through the Community Sport Activation Fund is making a real difference at a very local level. I’m particularly pleased that more than half the funding is going into projects in deprived areas, helping more people develop a lifelong sporting habit.”
Julie Stokes, Chief Executive ActivLives, added: “We are looking forward to getting started and making a real difference in the communities. We shall be using expert coaches to deliver programmes best suited to residents – including dance, boccia and walking football. This is very much a partnership – between local people, the council, ourselves and other voluntary organisations – with the single aim of encouraging a healthier and happier town.”
The ActivIpswich project is among 88 projects to receive a share of £15 million of funding to support grassroots sport activity across the country.