We know that Sport England have been thinking about the big issues that people continue to face during the Covid-19 lockdown and pandemic, and where being active fits with this.
Similarly, at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, we have been talking with partners across West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire about how being physically active can support post Covid-19 recovery and renewal plans.
The Covid-19 lockdown has shone a light on the inequalities in our society.
The dangers of living with multiple health conditions; the increased impact of the virus on Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities; and on people in our poorest communities living in overcrowded and/or multi-generational households. There is also increased concern about the toll on people’s mental wellbeing – again, potentially worse for our poorest and most vulnerable people and communities.
Many of these issues are linked to physical inactivity. This affects our young people, who have become more inactive during lockdown, as well as our wider population. Unless they become more active, our young people will spend much more of their lives in poor health and will be the first generation to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.
We know there are many people across West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire who are keen to get back to being active and playing sport in ways they have done before. Yorkshire Sport Foundation (YSF) will support “Return to Play” plans to make sure these opportunities are reintroduced. We also recognise there is a huge opportunity to create a step-change in activity levels for many more people across the county through working with a wider range of partners.
Over the next six months in our Recovery and Renewal journey, we are keen to accelerate its work with partners from all sectors to make a step-change in these inequalities of activity. We know that this will help address wider inequalities around physical and mental wellbeing, skills and employment, community reliance, traffic levels, and greener, cleaner neighbourhoods.
YSF has developed these asks through talking to a wide range of partners. During the rest of 2020, we’d like to work with partners across all systems-including communities-to make these things happen:
- Remember and take account of our rich diversity
- Develop more active travel options for short journeys, as part.of commuting and in tourism
- Ensure our open and green spaces are safe, accessible and appropriate for local people
- Help people be active at home and in their neighbourhoods.
- Help people develop physical and mental resilience to guard against infections and to develop self-esteem and confidence
- Support and work with voluntary, community and social enterprise sector partners to meet the needs of people who need it most
- Work with neighbours and other volunteers in communities to encourage more people to be active
- Work with employers from private, public, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors to create active healthy workplaces
- Ensure all our children and young people can be active at home and school.