WESTMINSTER DIARY by Caroline Spelman MP: Why I'm backing Solihull's Sports England funding bid - The Solihull Observer

WESTMINSTER DIARY by Caroline Spelman MP: Why I'm backing Solihull's Sports England funding bid

Solihull Editorial 30th Sep, 2017   0

WESTMINSTER DIARY

The Solihull bid for Sport England funding is through the second round of the bidding process. The application, which will fund new pilot projects across the borough to help tackle physical inactivity and promote greater fitness and wellbeing, is supported by a number of local community organisations and Solihull Council.

It is unfortunate that there is an eleven year difference in life expectancy between the North and South of Solihull and the gap in health inequality has been widening. To that end, I am hopeful that the bid offers a chance to tackle this problem which robs so many people of a greater longevity and a better quality of life in later years.

Indeed, the experience of many agencies who have been working hard to tackle this problem is that people need more help with the pre-participation stage. As Councillor Karen Grinsell, SMBC Cabinet Member for Health, said at a recent meeting of the bid; it’s no good just telling people they must take up sport. We need to understand better the barriers which prevent people getting involved in the activities that are available which may include; a lack of funds to participate and to pay for regular transport to get to activities which may not be very local and a lack of confidence or drive to get out of the house and become more active.




I am delighted that The Three Trees community centre on Chelmsley Wood has offered to be a platform for this pilot. It has a good track record of getting people involved and active such as through the gardening scheme run by Gro-Organic on its premises. Another activity offered there is the Push On Wellbeing course which is run by the ebullient Theresa Farrell with the support of local GPs to help people keep fit through dance.

In my 20 years as MP I’ve seen the educational inequality improve across the borough but health inequality remains stubbornly resistant to every effort made so far to try to address this issue. It is for that reason I am proud to be backing the Solihull bid.


Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP

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