25.Jun.12 Oxford sportiest County in England
People living in Oxfordshire are the sportiest and most active people in the whole of England according to government figures just published.
Statistics produced by Sport England’s annual Active People survey, show that just over 27% of people living in the county are taking part in sport and doing physical exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 or more times a week. Nearly 13,000 more people in Oxfordshire have taken up sport and physical exercise in the last year, according to the survey, including athletics and running.
This year’s rise continues the steady growth of participation in physical activity in Oxfordshire. Since 2005, approximately 24,000 people have taken up a sport or physical activity. On a district level, Oxford City, South Oxfordshire and West Oxfordshire have all seen an increase in their participation rates this year, while Cherwell and Vale of White Horse have seen no significant change on last year.
Chris Freeman, Managing Director of Oxfordshire Sport Partnership (OSP), responsible for promoting sport and physical activity in the county, said: “It’s fantastic that Oxfordshire is now the most active and sporty county in the country. And it’s a credit to all the organisations involved that we’ve been able to accomplish this, and in such an important year for sport. The fact that more and more people are willing to get out and get active is in part down to projects like GO Active Oxfordshire and Sportivate. Their success and projects like them, show just how important it is for ourselves and our partners to work together to promote and provide sports opportunities for all sections of the community, helping to make sure that everybody has a chance to take part in physical exercise and reap all the fantastic benefits that exercise can bring”.
Successes that have contributed to the increase in numbers of people participating in sport since 2011:
- Support for the national governing bodies of sport in Oxfordshire to help them look at and develop more accessible forms of their sports in order to encourage people to take them up, such as Touch Rugby and Rush Hockey
- Run England Oxfordshire. A host of local running groups have now started all over the county
- The launch of the Active Women project aimed at encouraging young women into sport
- The success of the Sportivate project in encouraging young people 16 and over into sport and helping them to stay involved
- Investment secured to start new sport projects such as Rounders
- £100,000 of funding secured by OSP to help fund and develop sports clubs throughout Oxfordshire
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