The value of physical activity, leisure and sport is significant and extremely well evidenced.
Through our previous ActiveWestminster strategy and partnership work, Westminster has become a genuine City of Sport. Over the past decade we have made a major investments in developing new and improved facilities and Westminster now provides the some of the best access to community sports facilities in the country. As a result of our commitment to Olympic and Paralympic legacy, we now offer a range of flagship programmes which encourage participation in physical activity; help to sustain and grow our voluntary and community sports sector; provide support for volunteers and talented athletes and really celebrate physical activity and sport through new high profile events. We have a very vibrant ActiveWestminster partnership and we work closely with hundreds of public, private and voluntary sector organisations to promote a wide variety of attractive and accessible opportunities which encourage people to take part in physical activity, leisure and sport at any and every level.
However, despite such positive investment, achievement and collective effort, there remain a number of significant challenges. Levels of childhood obesity in Westminster are alarmingly high; participation in physical activity, leisure and sport amongst particular population groups is very low, our voluntary and community sport sector face continual challenges to be sustainable and to meet the growing demands, and participation in competitive sport could be better. Some areas of our city present less attractive, less supportive and less permissive environments to take part in physical activity. Whilst the overall offer is extremely comprehensive, often there is a lack of awareness of the opportunities available, particularly at a neighbourhood and individual level.
Our strategy provides a framework which will build on the positive achievements made to date and to help us work together to better address our key challenges. This strategy has not been developed in isolation. It has been developed to facilitate impact, not simply to sit on a shelf. It sets out clearly our ambitions for physical activity, leisure and sport and how we will work together via our underpinning principles to achieve these ambitions.
We cannot achieve these changes alone. We recognise that no single department or organisation can, on its own, significantly increase and sustain the physical activity levels of our population. It will require the involvement and commitment of many partners and stakeholders to achieve this common goal.
Reaching that goal will require persistence, patience and resolution, therefore it is not just about doing the same things more efficiently – at times more innovative, radical and bold change will be required and we want to ensure that there is an openness to explore new options. We want to work collaboratively to encourage innovation and share best practice, particularly through applying the principles and practical learning of behaviour change. Through creating supportive and permissive environments that encourages people to be physically active, where, when and how they choose, we can better engage those who are currently inactive.
Evidence shows us that if we engage more people, more often in physical activity, leisure and sport, a wide range of benefits will be realised and together we will Activate Your City, Lives and Neighbourhoods. #ActiveWestminster
Download our ActiveWestminster Strategy 2018-2022