This is a transcript of my My View column that was published in the Doncaster Star on Monday 2 October 2017
Last week I was pleased to support colleagues from organisations across Doncaster as they bid for a multi-million-pound grant from Sport England.
Doncaster is shortlisted as one of 19 areas from across the country for this important initiative. There’s one more hurdle to clear as the judges now have to whittle it down to a final group of 10 who will be given a chance to trial new initiatives.
As anyone who know me will tell you, I enjoy leading an active life, so I’ll jump at any chance to help create more physical activity opportunities for local people.
It’s vital that all Doncaster residents have more chances to be fit and active in their own neighbourhoods. As a doctor, I know that moving more and eating less is a key factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Fortunately, in Doncaster Council we have a local authority that also understands how important this is too and is determined to develop physical activity opportunities that can be easily accessed by residents.
The newly published Borough Strategy – Doncaster Growing Together – includes a commitment to creating the ways and means to Get Doncaster Moving.
And local people have a key part to play. Which is why I’m pleased to draw your attention to the launch last week of a public consultation on a strategy for physical activity and sport in the borough.
It’s masterminded by Doncaster Active Partnership – a group of key organisations in the borough that have pledged to work together and lead the way to creating more physical activity and sport opportunities. Partners include Club Doncaster Foundation, Doncaster Council, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and Yorkshire Sport Foundation.
This is your chance to have a say in helping shape the future, so the changes can be driven from the grass roots of our communities.
Why is it important to be fit and active? Because, as it sums up in the consultation documents, we’re currently not active enough. Too many Doncastrians, young and old, are sedentary and sitting for too long. As a result, many of us are missing out of living a healthy life to the full and are dying young.
Being active can help control weight; reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and prevent many cancers; it also strengthens bones and muscles; improve mental health and mood; and ultimately increase our chances of living longer.
If activity came in tablet form it would be seen as a wonder drug!
It’s thought that inactivity is related to around 24,000 GP consultations every year in Doncaster so please help me by helping yourself and moving a little more.
So please find time to complete the questionnaire before the consultation ends on 23 October, 2017. It only takes a few minutes. Simply go to www.yorkshiresport.org/getdoncastermoving