Friday, 4 December 2009


Getting more people in Thanet interested in and active in sport and recreation is just one of the aims of a new council plan.

The Sport and Active Recreation Strategy and Sports Facilities Improvement Plan was discussed by members of the council’s Cabinet last night (Wednesday 2 December).

Although the situation has improved slightly in recent years, Thanet is still well below the national, regional and Kent average for the percentage of people who regularly participate in at least three 30-minute moderate activity sessions each week. The story is the same for the percentage of people who undertake no activity, with national figures showing that, in Thanet, 51.3% fall into this category. Nationally, the figure is just 48.5%.

The strategy has four themes to it:
1. Raising the profile of sport and active recreation
2. Increasing opportunities for sport
3. Developing healthy lifestyles
4. Enhancing sport facility provision

The Sports Facilities Improvement Plan was developed alongside local facility providers and took advantage of a pilot project by Sport England that gave the council access to their national expertise on the subject. It looks at the current and future levels required of 12 different types of sports facilities in the area, including athletics tracks, sports halls, multi-use games areas and golf courses.

Sports Development Officer, Martyn Cassell, said: “Getting involved in sport or active recreation brings so many benefits and that’s why the council has developed this new strategy. We want to do everything we can to encourage local people to get active. That includes raising the profile of sport, increasing the different ways that residents can take up a sport and helping them to develop healthy lifestyles. Perhaps the most important aspect is improving the sports facilities that we have here in Thanet. That work is already underway with the improvements to Hartsdown Leisure Centre and developments at school sites. We know it’s something that matters to local people, as satisfaction with our facilities is lower than we’d like. We’ve listened to that and are working to improve what’s on offer for them.”

The strategy will now go for final approval at a meeting of the full council later this month (Thursday 17 December).

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