A drive to get the people of the West Midlands more active, fitter and healthier is being spearheaded by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Partners from across the health, local authority and sports sectors have come together to help break down barriers to physical activity and improve the wellbeing of the West Midlands. The inaugural meeting of the West Midlands Sport and Physical Activity Collaborative Engagement Programme brought together 15 organisations to share expertise and experiences.
The Leadership Centre, in collaboration with the Institute of Leadership at the University of Birmingham, is running the 10-month programme working with the WMCA and partners, including Sport England, through which organisational leaders will develop collective cultures and values, rooted in an understanding of the region’s communities to inform priorities.
The programme is part of a joint commitment and investment from the WMCA and Sport England in response to the national Active Lives survey which revealed the region continues to have the lowest level of physical activity per head of population of anywhere in the country.
Deborah Cadman, WMCA chief executive, who welcomed 40 delegates for the event at the WMCA, said tackling inactivity and inequalities were both priorities. She said:
“There are plenty of examples of good practice across the region, but it is by developing shared values and principles that influence and inform how we work together that will make the greatest impact in supporting our citizens to be more physically active and to improve their health and wellbeing.
“The programme provides the basis of the work needed to make the West Midlands the best it can be in getting more people active and playing an important role in delivering the region’s inclusive economic growth.”
The Active Lives survey showed 28% of the West Midlands population was described as inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.
The figure rose to 32.5% in the Black Country and Sandwell was the highest of the region’s boroughs with an inactive rate of almost 34%.